Riley Gaines, a former Kentucky women’s swim star who was a 12-time All-American and five-time SEC champion, will appear in President Biden’s State of the Union address.
Gaines, currently a spokesperson for the Independent Women’s Forum, will be the special guest of Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., when Biden addresses the nation.
«I couldn’t be more excited to attend the State of the Union address with Representative McClain,» she said in a press release. «Not only is she an incredible leader and congresswoman, but she has been an integral part of protecting women’s sports on the basis of sex. She really knows the value of women-only spaces and how sport empowers young girls. She will fight relentlessly against the left». subversive war against women. Thank you, Rep. McClain.»
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Gaines has been at the forefront of ensuring female athletes have equal opportunities to perform in women’s sports, as the debate over the eligibility of transgender women has escalated in recent years.
Gaines tied with then-Penn swimmer Lia Thomas at the NCAA championships last year. Thomas’ performance in the pool caused a national storm.
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«Riley Gaines is a brave and inspiring woman who dared to speak out against the tyranny of the awakening,» McClain added. «She has stood up for women’s rights and the protection of fair and equal playing fields in sports despite being harassed by the media. I am honored to have Riley as my guest at the State of the Union, and I am eager to work with your advancement to protect the values that make America the greatest country in the world.»
Gaines recently hand-delivered a letter to the NCAA calling for an end to the practice of allowing biological male athletes to compete on women’s teams. The letter called for the organization to «take direct and immediate action to establish rules to keep women’s varsity sports female.»
“In the world of college sports, it is impossible to provide equal opportunity for both genders (as required by Title IX) without women-only teams,” the letter stated. «Yet the NCAA implements and perpetuates a policy of allowing male athletes to be part of women’s teams, even as sports governing bodies and federal courts increasingly reject these unfair and inequitable policies that exclude young women from their own teams.
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The letter was read outside the NCAA convention in San Antonio on Thursday, threatening legal action if the NCAA doesn’t «protect female athletes from discrimination on the basis of sex.»
Fox News’ Joe Morgan contributed to this report.