Swimmer and women’s rights activist Riley Gaines, along with more than a dozen other female athletes, are suing the NCAA over its policy that permits men to compete against them and use female locker rooms.

“It’s official,” Gaines posted on X, “I’m suing the NCAA along with 15 other collegiate athletes who have lost out on titles, records, & roster spots to men posing as women.”

“The NCAA continues to explicitly violate the federal civil rights law of Title IX. About time someone did something about it,” Gaines added.

The lawsuit was first reported by The Free Press, and was organized by the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS). It was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

According to The Free Press, the lawsuit is the first federal action of its kind.

The suit “seeks to change the rules, rendering any biological males ineligible to compete against female athletes. It demands the NCAA revoke all awards given to trans athletes in women’s competitions and ‘reassign’ them to their female contenders. It also asks for ‘damages for pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, suffering and anxiety, expense costs and other damages due to defendants’ wrongful conduct.’”

“Plaintiffs, all current or former, collegiate, female, student-athletes, bring this case to secure for future generations of women the promise of Title IX that is being denied them and other college women by the National Collegiate Athletic Association,” the lawsuit reads.

The women joining the lawsuit include:

  • Riley Gaines (Swimmer, Gallatin, TN)
  • Reka Gyorgy (Swimmer, Blacksburg, VA)
  • Kylee Alons (Swimmer, Raleigh, NC)
  • Kaitlyn Wheeler (Swimmer, Springfield, IL)
  • Ainsley Erzen (Track and Soccer, Des Moines, IA)
  • Ellie Eades (Tennis, Floyds Knobs, IN)
  • Lily Mullens (Swimmer, North Canton, OH)
  • Susanna Price (Track & Field, Swimmer, Los Alamos, NM)
  • Carter Satterfield (Swimmer, Cary, NC)
  • Kate Pearson (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • Katie Blankinship (Swimmer, Woodstock, GA)
  • Julianna Morrow (Swimmer, Mooresville, NC)
  • And four other athletes proceeding under pseudonyms to protect them from retaliation and reprisal.

“This lawsuit against the NCAA isn’t just about competition; it’s a fight for the very essence of women’s sports,” said ICONS Co-Founder Marshi Smith, a collegiate All-American and NCAA national champion swimmer.

“We’re standing up for justice and the rights of female athletes to compete on a level playing field. It’s about preserving the legacy of Title IX and ensuring that the future of women’s sports is as bright as its past.”

ICONS Co-Founder Kim Jones, who is a collegiate tennis All-American and former U.S. National Team member, said, “By challenging the NCAA’s draconian and discriminatory policies, we’re sending a clear message: the integrity of women’s sports is non-negotiable,” adding,

We are committed to defending the hard-won rights of women athletes everywhere. This isn’t just a legal battle; it’s a moral stand for equality and justice in sports.

In an interview on Fox News, Riley Gaines further explained her reasons for joining the lawsuit.

“First and foremost, what I want to see the NCAA do, and what they haven’t done thus far, is take accountability and take responsibility,” Gaines said. She went after current NCAA President Charlie Baker and former NCAA president Mark Emmert for refusing to stand up for women.

“[They are] morally bankrupt, spineless cowards,” Gaines said. “This lawsuit is about women, female athletes, standing together and demanding the NCAA change its rules that hurt women.”

The NCAA’s current Transgender Student-Athlete Participation Policy “calls for transgender student-athlete participation for each sport to be determined by the policy for the national governing body of that sport.”

Gaines was also interviewed by The Free Press, which you can watch below:

Kaitlynn Wheeler, a swimmer from Springfield, IL, posted her reason for joining the lawsuit on X:

To learn more about the lawsuit, you can visit https://www.iconswomen.com/take-on-the-ncaa/. The Independent Council on Women’s Sports encourages people to get involved, sign their petition and contribute to help fund the lawsuit.

Bravo to Riley Gaines and all the other bold female athletes who are taking on the NCAA and fighting for women. Keeping men out of women’s sports should be a commonsense issue. Hopefully the Georgia jury in this case will agree.

The case is Riley Gaines v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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