LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After the NCAA released its nominee list for "NCAA Woman of the Year," former UK swim team member Riley Gaines spoke out about one of her fellow nominees.
"Being the real girl in that photo and also University of Kentucky's nominee for WOTY, this is yet another slap in the face to women," Gaines wrote on Twitter.
Being the real girl in that photo and also University of Kentucky's nominee for NCAA WOTY, this is yet another slap in the face to women. First a female national title and now nominated for the pinnacle award in collegiate athletics. The @NCAA has made this award worthless. https://t.co/MRCieqbltd— Riley Gaines (@RileyGaines) July 16, 2022
Gaines has spoken out before about transgender opponents in competition. In March, during the NCAA Swimming Championships, Gaines tied for fifth with Lia Thomas, who is a transgender athlete.
Both Gaines and Thomas are on the nominee list that features 577 names coming from Divisions I, II, and III in NCAA competitions.
"First, a female national title and now nominated for the pinnacle award in collegiate athletics. The NCAA has made this award worthless," Gaines added in the tweet.
We spoke with Gaines in March as she asked for changes to NCAA rules for transgender people competing in events. "It's not Lia who is the issue; it's really just the rules set in place by the NCAA and their failure to acknowledge how this affects so many in a bad way," Gaines said.
Gaines went on in another tweet to write "What character has Thomas shown others than sheer selfishness and entitlement? The disrespect and disregard for the other female athletes in Thomas' interviews is eye-opening."
You can view the full list of the "NCAA Women of the Year" nominees here.