In a segment on Fox & Friends, Olympic gold medalist and transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner spoke about the controversy of trans athletes. She also criticized the current NCAA rules, suggesting they should be “a lot more stringent” when it comes to transgender participation.
Jenner is known to be an outspoken critic of biological men competing in sports against girls and women.
On Wednesday, Jenner discussed the former University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer, Lia Thomas. Just one day prior, Thomas appeared on Good Morning America and discussed plans to continue competing now that their college career is over.
“I intend to keep swimming,” Thomas told Good Morning America host Juju Chang. “It’s been a goal of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a very long time, and I would love to see that through.”
Keep in mind that Thomas was a low-ranked college swimmer while competing against other men. However, the swimmer shot to the top of the leaderboards after beginning to identify as a woman and competing against biological females. Now, Thomas’ goal is to take on women’s Olympics – something they wouldn’t stand a chance at if competing against men.
Jenner addressed this issue on Fox News, saying that Thomas “played by the rules,” but that the rules need to be a lot more strict than they currently are with transgender athletes.
The former Olympic athlete insists that, for a biological male that goes through puberty, hormone therapy does not remove their physical advantage over biological females.
“Really, my concerns are with the NCAA,” Jenner clarified. “Their rules have to be a lot more stringent. I think they have to be more difficult. I don’t think just one year of hormone replacement therapy is enough, and actually, on the ABC special they even had a doctor on there saying ‘it isn’t enough.'”
Jenner describes her experience with hormone replacement therapy and points out that, even after seven years and a full transition, she still is physically stronger than a biological woman.
“I mean, I’ve been on – for seven years, a full transition – been on hormone replacement and I can still hit the golf ball 280, 290 yards,” added Jenner. “There’s a lot left over.”
“And so, I’m not blaming her. Um, I’m just blaming the system right now. That has to be seriously looked at.”
Although she does not blame Thomas for following the rules of the NCAA, Jenner does maintain that the swimmer “has a tremendous advantage over the women.”
Jenner then references Thomas’ claim that she transitioned to “be happy,” which Jenner respects. However, she points out that, while Thomas may be happy, there are undoubtedly many girls she’s competing against that are not happy with the situation.
“She may be happy, but I’m sure the girl – the cis girls – in the blocks next to her looks over and sees this very large woman who she knows she can’t beat. I don’t think she’s that happy,” said Jenner.