William “Lia” Thomas, the transgender swimmer who dominated actual biological females in the 2021-2022 NCAA women’s swimming and diving season, has been nominated by the University of Pennsylvania to receive the NCAA’s Woman of the Year award.
Thomas is one of 577 graduating female athletes to be nominated by their schools for the award, which is designed to “recognize “female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in their community, in athletics and in academics throughout their college careers.”
Thomas' win has come with major bouts of criticism claiming Thomas had an unfair advantage competing in the women’s division when Thomas is still biologically a male.
Even Thomas' female teammates expressed their anger over Thomas being allowed to compete with them. 16 of them wrote an anonymous letter to the University and the Ivy League demanding stricter rules when it comes to transgender athlete’s participation on female sport teams, saying it felt like the team’s wins are now “tainted.”
“Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female,” part of the letter read.
Additionally, former Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete and current transgender Caitlyn Jenner called Thomas’ participating in women’s swimming events “one of the worst things to happen to the trans community.”
Thomas has been unashamed about such involvement on the women’s swim team, calling out transgender critics and assuring that “trans women are not a threat to women’s sports.”