Riley Gaines does not think her message is partisan: she is “pro-woman,” “pro-fairness” and wants biological men to stay out of women’s sports. But thus far, she shared with The Daily Wire, only conservative media have shown interest in her story.
This weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference she was elevated by her most high profile supporter yet — former President Donald Trump, who invited her to join him on stage, praised her courage, and gave her a few moments to speak to the crowd.
Gaines, a 12-time All-American and three-time Southeastern Conference champion who raced against transgender athlete Lia Thomas in the NCAA championships this spring, told The Daily Wire that “it feels amazing” to have someone as powerful as Trump speak up in defense of women’s sports.
“Clearly what we have in office now is doing the exact opposite,” she added, referring to President Joe Biden’s administration, “and turning their back on women.”
Gaines first shared her story with The Daily Wire in March after she competed against Thomas in the 200 freestyle on Friday at the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships. Since then, she has repeatedly spoken out on Fox News and teamed up with the Independent Women’s Forum to defend fairness in women’s sports.
Conservative media has thoroughly covered her story, the swimmer said. But leftist media has shown little interest in Gaines’ thoughts beyond insinuating that she dodged Trump’s greeting at CPAC (she strongly denied this) and suggesting that she is “anti-trans.”
“I don’t think pro-woman means anti-trans,” Gaines said. “Actually, I know it doesn’t mean anti-trans because I’m not anti-trans. I’m pro-woman and pro-fairness. And I think there’s a big difference.”
Asked if she wishes Biden would show support for women’s sports, Gaines was quick to respond, “Of course.”
“I would love to see from absolutely anyone who’s willing to give it,” she said, sharing that one of her goals is to reach a “broader audience” of people who do not agree with her, “someone who is kind of on the fence or someone who needs to hear some of these things.”
“But it’s really hard because no left wing media wants me or has requested any sort of interview or anything like that, which I think speaks volumes,” she said. “I just want change and I don’t care who’s going to do it, but I think it’s mandatory that it gets done.”
Gaines pointed to the Biden administration’s plans to redefine sex to include “sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” indicating that schools would be prevented from prohibiting biological males from participating in women’s sports.
“It’s taking us back at least 50 years,” she said. “This is something the left thinks is progressive. But how in the world can you not see this is totally regressive?”