Transgender athlete Lia Thomas has been dominating women’s swimming at the University of Pennsylvania since the NCAA allowed him to compete against women.
Michael Phelps — the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals swimming for the United States — has taken notice of the problem.
Speaking to CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour on Thursday, Phelps suggested something needed to change for transgender athletes in college and other circuits.
“I can talk from a standpoint of doping, you know, I don’t think I’ve competed in a clean field in my entire career,” he said. “So, you know, I think this leads back to the organizing committees again, because it has to be a level playing field.”
Some on the left will certainly be up in arms about Phelps comparing transgenderism to drug use, but his point is absolutely correct.
A man competing against women has an unfair advantage, just as doping provides cheaters with an unfair advantage over athletes who are clean.
Phelps went on to say that a level playing field is “something that we all need” because “that’s what sports are.”
“For me, I don’t know where this is going to go,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I believe that we all should feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin, but I think sports should all be played at an even playing field.”
Reacting to ongoing debate over trans college athlete Lia Thomas competing on the women’s swimming team, “it’s very complicated,” says @MichaelPhelps. “We all should feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin. But I think sports should be played on an even playing field.” pic.twitter.com/brsq7t2vJW
— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) January 13, 2022
Phelps did not offer any specific plans about how to achieve this level playing field, and he said the issue was “hard” and “very complicated.”
This was the only portion of his answer with which I disagree. It is not very complicated to say men who identify as women should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports.
Banning this practice would anger many on the left, but it would be a logical step to take.
Phelps is not the first person to express concern about Thomas competing against women. His teammates have spoken about their frustration anonymously for fear of being labeled “transphobic.”
One Penn swimmer told the Washington Examiner that Thomas sees himself as “the Jackie Robinson of trans sports.”
“I try not to be around her because the whole situation makes me so mad,” the swimmer said.
“I don’t think Lia is a bad person. She’s very quiet and kind of introverted. … It’s just really hard for me to respect her at all because of what she’s doing to my team and what she’s doing to women in general and not caring,” she said.
After smashing multiple records and handily defeating nearly all of his competition for much of the season, Thomas was finally defeated earlier this month in a meet against Yale.
With that said, the person who defeated him was another man who identifies as a woman, which only further underscores the ways in which transgender athletes are rendering female competitors ineffective in their own sports.
Phelps is not some right-wing fanatic but rather a logical man who knows more than a thing or two about the sport of swimming.
When he points to this issue as a cause for concern, it is clear something needs to change.