Transgender swimmer reportedly makes self-comparison to Jackie Robinson

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News


This past academic year has seen overwhelming confusion in the realm of sports, especially with transgender collegiate swimmer Lia Thomas. Thomas, who swims for Penn University, is a biological male who underwent gender reassignment and now identifies as female. The collegiate swimmer has been at the center of controversy swimming as a biological male in female swim meets.

The latest update involves reports from fellow teammates who are apparently frustrated ast Thomas’ lack of humility and tact. An anonymous teammate revealed information about Thomas’ attitude in an interview with The Washington Examiner, including one instance where Thomas compared his current situation as a transgender swimmer to Jackie Robinson.

Robinson was a Hall of Fame baseball player for the Brooklyn Dodgers who shattered the color barrier in baseball in 1947 and paved the way for thousands of African Americans to play the game freely.

This teammate, referring Thomas with the pronoun “she,” said,

She compares herself to Jackie Robinson. She said she is like the Jackie Robinson of trans sports…She laughs about it and mocks the situation. Instead of caring or showing that she cares about what she’s doing or what she’s doing to her teammates, she’s not sympathetic or empathetic at all. Lia never addressed our team. She never asked if it was OK. She never asked how we felt. She never tried to explain how she feels. She never has said anything to us as a group. She never addressed anything.

The anonymous teammate’s sentiment is felt by many in the nation who believe Thomas should be prevented from competing in women’s sports as a biological man. She continued, saying,

All she does is make comments to people like, ‘At least I’m still No. 1 in the country,’ and those kinds of cocky things. She doesn’t care how all this is affecting us and how this is affecting our relationship to swimming. She doesn’t care, and it makes it really hard to like her.

Last week, the most decorated swimmer in history, Michael Phelps, discussed the situation when he was interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. While he called the situation “very complicated,” he also lamented the fact that a biological male competing against females has created an uneven playing field:

 Because it has to be a level playing field. That’s something that we all need. Because that’s what sports are. For me, I don’t know where this is going to go. I don’t know what’s going to happen.