Riley Gaines, fellow NCAA ‘Woman of the Year’ nominee, tells Tomi Lahren she ‘don’t want this trophy’


The encouragement of transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports is infuriating to those who care about competitive fairness and biological reality.

But it’s even more frustrating for women who have no choice but to compete at a serious disadvantage.


Today, one of them talks about it.

Riley Gaines has had an incredibly successful career in women’s varsity swimming, but in recent months she’s been forced to race against Lia Thomas, the biological man who transitioned just a year ago and often dominates women biological.

Gaines joined Tomi Lahren on Wednesday to discuss how the NCAA promoted Thomas and the absurdity of nominating a transgender athlete for the “Woman of the Year” award.

She mentioned that one incident in particular informed her that in addition to being allowed to compete, Thomas would be given priority over others.

In March 2022, Gaines and Thomas tied for 5th in the women’s 200-meter freestyle at the NCAA Championships. While the event only created one trophy for 5th place, it’s no surprise who was chosen to hold it on the podium:


“I want to come back to another controversy that involved you and Lia Thomas in particular. You’re both tied for fifth place. So you’re both supposed to get a trophy. Lia Thomas ended up receiving the trophy and yours was just going to be mailed. Have you ever had it?

Riley Gaines:

“I had it a few weeks ago. But basically what happened is after we equalized you go behind the awards podium and they hand out the awards. And so we’re went back there and then the civil official said, ‘Great race, you’re tied so we’ll have Thomas hold the fifth place trophy which you can pose with the sixth place trophy and it’ll be for you sent by mail.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 18: Lia Thomas watches from the podium after finishing fifth in the 200-yard freestyle during the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus on March 18 , 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Comer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Gaines explained that she was initially more understanding about the incident because she realized there was only one 5th place trophy.

But when asked why she was asked to hold the 6th place award, the official response said the intention was simply to reward Thomas:

“But I asked the official, ‘I was like, okay. Can I ask you why you absolutely want Thomas to hold the trophy above me? And he just looked at me and said, ‘Well, we’re doing this in chronological order. And that’s when I realized exactly what was going on. And so I asked him, I was like, ‘Wha ‘do we do it chronologically?’ Because one we’re related and if we’re basing that on the alphabet or whatever, what’s alphabetically based on G comes before T so I’m just not in. And he looked at me and said, Thomas is holding the trophy for photo purposes.

There was no justification, alphabetical or not, for Thomas to receive the advantage over Gaines. Quite simply, the administrators of the event wanted to favor one over the other.

Gaines also explained that as a result, she had no interest in the NCAA Woman of the Year trophy, despite her hugely successful college career:

“Same with NCAA Woman of the Year, I don’t even want that trophy,” Gaines said. “I’m a 12-time All-American, so I’ve got tons of them at home.”

Defending Thomas at the expense of biological women has obviously delegitimized the whole rewards process, putting politics and woke ideology ahead of fairness and common sense.

Gaines went further, expressing her disappointment with the NCAA putting female competitors on the “men’s back burner”:

“It’s an organization that I know I’ve basically dedicated my whole life to, and so many other female athletes work so hard to make it happen and to be not only forced to compete against men, but put on the back burner for men. It was extremely revealing and extremely disheartening.

As her response to Clay Travis also explains, the NCAA, the University of Pennsylvania and many others have gone out of their way to encourage Lia Thomas at the expense of lifelong women:

This is yet another example of how the infusion of progressive politics into real-world situations has significant and immediate negative consequences.

Riley Gaines did everything right and through no fault of her own, was put behind someone who used an unfair advantage to dominate competitions. Instead of criticizing this behavior, the NCAA and many member institutions support Thomas’ actions.

Until these types of inexcusable actions are stopped, there will be many more frustrated and discouraged female athletes losing to biological men.

Here’s everything Gaines and Tomi discussed Tomi Lahren is Fearless: