Former Olympic gold medal winner Caitlyn Jenner is speaking out against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas winning the women's NCAA Swimming Championship. The former California gubernatorial nominee said the 22-year-old swimmer was "not the rightful winner," naming second place winner Emma Weyant as the true victor of the final race.
Thomas made headlines being the first transgender woman to win the NCAA's championship. She was viewed as an inspiration to many but also garnered a lot of vitriol from others claiming she shouldn't have been allowed in the women's swimming competition, to begin with.
Jenner —who's a fellow trans community member and a former athlete — is one of these people.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star retweeted a story about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis denouncing Thomas. "Agreed! [Weyant] is the rightful winner!" Jenner responded, adding, "It's not transphobic or anti-trans, it's COMMON SENSE!"
Jenner's show of support for the governor, who had actively fought against gay and trans rights, has drawn the attention of many that disagree with the former Olympic gold medalist, claiming what she said is, in fact, transphobic.
The comments on Jenner's tweet range from support to criticism with one follower asking, "Why do you always ignore all the times a trans athlete doesn't win? It creates a baffling paradox when you say thy give cis women no chance despite them not winning more often than them doing so."
Another comment read, "Common sense is not something you or Governor Ron DeSantis has a lot of."
In an official proclamation, DeSantis announced Weyant as the NCAA championship winner, saying, "A male identifying as a woman was allowed to compete in and was declared the winner of the race by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Emma was determined to have come in second place." He continued to claim, "actions served to erode opportunities for women athletes and perpetuate a fraud against women athletes as well as the public at large."
Last year, Florida signed a bill into law called The Fairness in Women's Sports Act. The anti-trans legislation became effective on the first day of Pride month, banning trans female athletes from competing in public high school and college sports.
The former athlete has faced criticism several times in the past for being against several trans issues despite coming out as a trans woman herself in 2015.
Her rocky history concerning the trans community had a spotlight shined on it when Jenner decided to run for Governor of California against Governor Gavin Newsom during the 2021 recall election. The reality TV star was only able to accumulate 1% of the vote commenting, "I can't believe that this many people actually voted to keep him in office" during her concession speech.
Trans athletes have been a topic of contention between party lines. With the few athletes choosing to compete in their preferred gender-separated sports, the likes of Jenner, as well as popular podcaster Joe Rogan and many others have been against the idea of non-cis female athletes competing with biological females.
There have been a number of trans athletes who have failed to secure the gold, but it's been the few cases where they have that it has become an issue with those involved in the industry.