Pence rejects trans swimmer Lia Thomas’ NCAA win, says Emma Weyant won

  • Former Vice President Pence says Emma Weyant is the true winner of the NCAA Swimming Tournament.
  • In making his comments, Pence dismissed trans swimmer Lia Thomas for first place in the competition.
  • In recent years, conservatives have railed against trans athletes participating in school sports.

Former Vice President Mike Pence rejected transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’ NCAA Division I win on Tuesday, saying the winner was University of Virginia swimmer Emma Weyant.

While speaking at the University of Virginia at an event hosted by the Young America’s Foundation, Pence sided with Weyant, University of Pennsylvania’s Thomas runner-up in the women’s 500 meter freestyle. The result of the contest has become a cause celebre among conservatives who vehemently oppose transgender athletes who compete in sports for their schools.

When a student in the audience lamented that the university’s “tradition of excellence” had recently been “turned upside down by the woke left”, Pence was then asked what he would say to Weyant, who, according to the student, “had been deprived of a medal”.

“Thank you so much for that thoughtful question. Emma Weyant won that race,” Pence said.

He continued, “I know that in his State of the Union address, President [Joe] Biden has promised to uphold men’s divine right to compete in women’s sports.”

Since taking office, Biden has spoken out and championed the rights of LGBTQ Americans and recognized Transgender Awareness Day last month.

Laughter broke out in the audience after Pence’s statement.

“Common sense must reign, and it will reign. Women’s sport is a path to success and excellence,” said the former vice-president.

He added: “I expect there will be some outstanding female athletes in the room today – perhaps some watching. And we must uphold the integrity of women’s sport in America for the benefit of women. of the whole world.”

Pence’s comments mirror those of Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida – who is up for re-election this fall and has become one of the nation’s most recognizable potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates.

Last month, DeSantis refused to validate Thomas’ victory and released a statement declaring Weyant – a Florida native – the true winner.

“I am determined that men will not compete with women like Emma Weyant, depriving women and girls of achievements, awards and scholarships,” he wrotecalling Thomas a “male identifying as female”.

Former President Donald Trump in recent days has also stoked Republican angst over it, arguing that GOP control of Congress in 2023 would mean conservative issues would gain prominence in the national dialogue ahead of a possible rematch between the former president and Biden.

“By the way, we won’t get men into women’s sports,” Trump said at a Saturday rally in North Carolina, in what has become a rallying cry for his supporters in recent months.

Pence is also said to have pondered his own 2024 presidential bid, which would put him on a direct path against his former boss — and potentially DeSantis.

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