A female swimmer on the University of Pennsylvania’s swim team said that her teammate, Lia Thomas, who is a biological male, “compares herself to Jackie Robinson” and that “all she does is makes comments” about being No. 1 in the country.
The swimmer, who spoke to the Washington Examiner on the condition of anonymity, shared insight about the “toxic environment” surrounding the women’s swim team this year.
“Accusations of entitlement, selfishness, and a general disregard for overall performance have plagued the team since Lia Thomas, a biological male, started swimming on their team,” the report stated. “The crux of the swimmers’ complaints is the biological advantage that Lia has over female teammates. The swimmers were promised competition between females, not men who want to be female. Yet, there’s also the matter of an apparently inflated ego.”
In the interview, the unnamed swimmer claimed that Thomas “compares herself to Jackie Robinson.”
“She said she is like the Jackie Robinson of trans sports,” the swimmer told the Examiner. She added that she tries “not to be around her because the whole situation makes me so mad.”
"I don’t think Lia is a bad person. She’s very quiet and kind of introverted ... It’s just really hard for me to respect her at all because of what she’s doing to my team and what she’s doing to women in general and not caring,” the swimmer continued.
Last week, as I covered, Thomas made headlines after she lost two races to a Yale University athlete, who is a biological female, competing on the men’s swim team. Previously, Thomas broke records at a race in Ohio where the runner-up in the 1,650-yard freestyle finished 38 seconds behind Thomas.
“She laughs about it and mocks the situation," the female swimmer told the Examiner. "Instead of caring or showing that she cares about what she’s doing or what she’s doing to her teammates, she’s not sympathetic or empathetic at all. Lia never addressed our team. She never asked if it was OK. She never asked how we felt. She never tried to explain how she feels. She never has said anything to us as a group. She never addressed anything.”
The swimmer told the Examiner that on a recent training trip to Florida, Thomas did not abide by school rules. Reportedly, the athletes were told not to wear school gear. The swimmer said that Lia wore ‘Penn Swim and Dive’ tops every day, including the airport and gym. Additionally, Thomas makes “cocky” comments about being the top swimmer on the team.
“All she does is make comments to people like, ‘At least I’m still No. 1 in the country,’ and those kinds of cocky things,” the swimmer said. “She doesn’t care how all this is affecting us and how this is affecting our relationship to swimming. She doesn't care, and it makes it really hard to like her.”
Overall, the swimmer said that Thomas “doesn’t respect her teammates at all.”
“It’s been super draining and frustrating,” she added, "because no one seems to care about the actual women.”