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Fox News
Fox News
21 Jul 2023


Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, a leading figure in the battle to protect women from competing against biological men, joined OutKick earlier this month after she was disappointed by the way ESPN covered female sports. 

"I'm so excited to partner with OutKick for a variety of reasons, but one, their understanding of sports," Gaines told Fox News Digital.

Gaines, a 12-time NCAA All-American swimmer, gained prominence for speaking out when she was forced to compete against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in 2022. She was also forced to share a locker room with Thomas and has since dedicated her energy to saving women’s sports. As a result of all the turmoil, Gaines feels that "very few" outlets understand sports the way she does. 

RILEY GAINES JOINS OUTKICK, WILL HOST PODCAST DEDICATED TO PROTECTING WOMEN’S SPORTS FROM BIOLOGICAL MEN

riley-gaines-lia-thomas-ncaa

Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, a leading figure in the battle to protect women from competing against biological men in female sports, recently joined OutKick. (Getty)

"One of those being ESPN. We've seen the direction that ESPN has gone. They're owned by Disney," Gaines said. "They honored Lia Thomas as this brave, strong, courageous woman during Women's History Month."

Indeed, ESPN brought up Thomas’ transition from male to female, her win at the NCAA Championships and competing amid criticism from the swimming world earlier this year in its "Celebrating Women’s History Month" segment. At the time, Gaines blasted the network and tweeted, "If I was a woman working at ESPN, I would walk out."

Thomas’ participation in NCAA women’s swimming during the 2021-22 season sparked a growing debate over the fairness of transgender women competing against biological females. Thomas became the first transgender woman to win an Ivy League Championship and later an NCAA Championship in the 500 free. While some Americans were left outraged, liberal institutions such as ESPN have celebrated Thomas.  

RILEY GAINES, OTHER FEMALE ATHLETES 'NOT AFRAID' TO DEFEND SPORT AGAINST TRANS ACTIVISTS DESPITE ATTACKS

Riley Gaines listens

Riley Gaines speaks during a discussion on transgender athletes In womens sports during a National Girls and Women in Sports day event on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 01, 2023, in Washington DC. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Now that Gaines is at OutKick, she has a larger platform than just her Twitter account. She hosts the "Gaines for Girls" podcast, which focuses on protecting the gains that women have achieved in athletics in recent years, while also encouraging and empowering other female athletes to use their voice in the name of fairness. 

"To have an outlet that understands sports, but also understands the political sphere is really powerful. Their audience is phenomenal," Gaines said.

"Just working alongside them to ultimately fulfill their mission, as well as my mission of spreading awareness and really spreading truth, interviewing policy experts, medical professionals, elite athletes, just people who have been affected by the cultural issues that are plaguing America," Gaines continued. "These are issues that the general public wants to hear about. But again, you're not hearing them on a lot of the mainstream media outlets. And so, to be a part of that and again, just spreading awareness, is super exciting."

RILEY GAINES 'AMBUSHED AND PHYSICALLY HIT' AFTER SAVING WOMEN'S SPORTS SPEECH AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE

UPenn athlete Lia Thomas at nationals

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas and Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines react after finishing tied for 5th in the 200 Freestyle finals at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 18th, 2022 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta Georgia. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Gaines will also regularly appear on OutKick programs including "Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich," "Tomi Lahren is Fearless," and "Hot Mic with Chad Withrow & Jonathan Hutton."

"Gaines For Girls" is available on OutKick.com/shows and all major providers and distributors where podcasts are available. Gaines has already interviewed Olivia Krolczyk, a student at the University of Cincinnati, who advocates for freedom of speech and three-time Olympian and author Sharron Davies.

Fox News and OutKick share common ownership. 

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

Brian Flood is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to brian.flood@fox.com and on Twitter: @briansflood.