BY Bryan Chai, The Western JournalMay 13, 2023
11 months ago
 | May 13, 2023
11 months ago

Riley Gaines Challenges Serena Williams and Others to Quit Being 'Scared' and Speak Up for Women

NCAA All-American and former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines is shining a searing hot light on transgenderism in women's sports -- and that spotlight might be a tad too bright for some of the biggest names in female athletics.

Gaines rose to prominence when she first began loudly objecting to the pomp and circumstance surrounding transgender swimmer Lia Thomas. Gaines vehemently disagreed with Thomas being celebrated, as the transgender swimmer had been a downright mediocre swimmer as Will Thomas on the men's team at the University of Pennsylvania before transitioning.

Lia, unlike Will, was a dominant champion swimmer on the women's team.

That presented an obvious cultural touchstone, with some feeling that Thomas should be allowed to do whatever he wants, while others felt that the innate biological advantages a man has over a woman were too pronounced and created an unequal playing field.

That meant that Thomas wasn't just racking up wins post-transition, the swimmer was becoming a cultural touchstone in his own right.

As Thomas' profile has risen, however, so too has Gaines'. The latter has made it her life's mission to preserve the sanctity of women's sports.

One part of that plan? Gaines has taken to Twitter to start directly calling out prominent female athletes to speak up on how they feel about athletes who were born men competing against athletes who were born women.

Day 1 of her campaign focused on tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams:

"Each day for the next week I'm going to call on well-known female athletes to take a stance on this issue because silence is complicity," Gaines tweeted out on Monday. "[W]e need their voices."

Gaines then directly tagged the Williams sisters and asked them how they felt "about males competing against women."

As of this writing, neither of the Williams sisters has responded to the tweet.

Gaines, undeterred by the lack of response from the tennis stars, continued each day with her new Twitter campaign, tagging various female athletes.

Day 2 saw Gaines tag former UFC fighter and current WWE star Ronda Rousey. Day 3 involved tagging women's college basketball superstars Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese. Day 4 tagged track and field star Allyson Felix. Day 5 sought comment from Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles. Day 6 tagged U.S. volleyball stars Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor.

There will presumably be a Day 7 tweet tomorrow to complete the full week.

While Gaines doesn't appear to have gotten a worthwhile response back from anyone who's been tagged, it's undeniable that those tweets are doing some numbers.

That challenge to Serena and Venus Williams? Over 50,000 likes and four million views. The Rousey tweet garnered over 55,000 likes and five million views. The tweet to the two college basketball stars amassed over 35,000 likes and 3 million views.


That's a daring challenge for many to see on social media, bringing even more clout and cachet to Gaines and her cause.

In keeping up with the pressure, Gaines even went on Fox Business Thursday to share why she was doing this Twitter challenge.

"Women are depending, girls are depending on these women with platforms and with influence to take a stance on this, so changes can ultimately be made," Gaines told the network's Stuart Varney.

Gaines added: "I could understand last year, around this time before the Lia Thomas incident really brought this to prominence, I can understand they have sponsorships, that they're scared of this cancel culture. But now a year past that incident, I don't have sympathy for that anymore."

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Bryan Chai, The Western Journal



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