USA Swimming official resigns to protest UPenn transgender swimmer competing against women
Lia Thomas is being allowed to compete on UPenn's women's team after three years of swimming for the men's program.
Longtime USA Swimming referee Cynthia Millen has resigned to protest the University of Pennsylvania's decision to allow transgender swimmer Lia Thomas to compete against women.
“I told my fellow officials that I can no longer participate in a sport which allows biological men to compete against women,” Millen wrote in a Dec. 17 resignation letter published by Swimming World magazine. “Everything fair about swimming is being destroyed.
"If Lia came on my deck as a referee, I would pull the coach aside and say, ‘Lia can swim, but Lia can swim exhibition or a time trial. Lia cannot compete against those women because that’s not fair,’” the letter added.
Thomas is being allowed to compete on UPenn's women's team after three years of swimming for the men's team.
Thomas is a transgender female who underwent hormone suppression and is in compliance with NCAA bylaws that allow her to compete on the woman’s team, the magazine reported.
Millen explained to Fox News “The Ingraham Angle" why she has take such a strong stand.
“I don’t mean to be critical of Lia — whatever’s going on, Lia’s a child of God, a precious person — but bodies swim against bodies,” Millen said. “That’s a male body swimming against females. And that male body can never change. That male body will always be a male body.”
LGBTQ advocacy groups have given strong support to Thomas.
“Trans athletes — Lia, in particular — deserve love, support, care, access to be able to swim. And Lia, like any other athlete, should be able to win and lose,” Athlete Ally director of policy and programs Anne Lieberman said, according to The Washington Times.