Riley Gaines and 15 other women are suing the NCAA for violating Title IX. Here’s where they’re at in the process

When Riley Gaines began her journey as a competitive swimmer, little did she show that her toughest battles would take place outside of the swimming pool.

After trans swimmer Lia Thomas stole the title from Gaines in the 2022 NCAA championships, Gaines has been on a mission to protect the integrity of women’s sports. That endeavor has since evolved into filing a lawsuit, alongside fifteen other female athletes, against the NCAA for allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports despite Title IX’s legal obligations to protect women.

Now, she joins Steve Deace to discuss where she’s currently at in the fight.

“What is it you want the NCAA to do in response [to the lawsuit]?” asks Steve.

“What we’re suing over is the NCAA explicitly and directly violating the federal civil rights law that is Title IX,” which was “enacted back in 1972” and “prevents discrimination on the basis of sex,” says Gaines.

“What the NCAA has done and continues to do is just that. They’re discriminating against us on the basis of our sex; they’re failing at their most basic duties of ensuring equal opportunity, ensuring safety in our sports, and ensuring privacy in areas of undressing,” she explains.

“To answer your question of what we want the NCAA to do is: one, [take] accountability, two [take] responsibility, and three uphold Title IX’s original intent.”

“[The NAIA] came out recently and said, ‘Hey, we’re not going to participate in this insanity,'” says Steve. “Have your attorneys indicated whether that is a boost to your claims or your case?”

“It is certainly something that has helped the lawsuit,” she says, adding that “the NAIA voting overwhelmingly in support” of “[preventing] men from competing in women’s sports and vice versa is huge.”

What may come as a surprise to some is that Gaines is actually hopeful that the NCAA will make the right decision.

“I think they’re excited about our lawsuit, to be totally honest with you. They want to be able to say their hands are tied,” she tells Steve, adding that she thinks the NCAA that in the “next two weeks, they will be voting on their rules, just like the NAIA.”

To hear more about the lawsuit and Riley’s experience, watch the clip below.

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