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Elizabeth Roberts
Elizabeth Roberts
April 5, 2023 - 2 minutes
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Chapter Spotlight

Protecting Women’s Sports is Vital: Kansas City’s Meeting with Riley Gaines

*This post was written by Kansas City, MO Chapter Leader Elizabeth Robert

As the Kansas City Chapter Leader, I recently had the pleasure of meeting Riley Gaines. Riley is a recent graduate from the University of Kentucky, where she was a 12x All-American swimmer. Her senior year, Riley competed and tied with transgender swimmer Lia Thomas at their NCAA championships. 

Imagine training your entire life only to experience the injustice of having to share a national title with a biological male during one of the last competitions of your athletic career. It’s no wonder that this experience has inspired Riley to travel the country and do what too many female collegiate athletes are scared to do. Riley is unapologetically fighting to protect women’s sports. 

Earlier this week, Riley testified before the Kansas House Committee on Health and Human Services in support of SB 180. This legislation will establish the Women’s Bill of Rights and clearly define male and female. It will protect spaces such as women’s locker rooms, but its implications reach far beyond athletics.  

Riley has first-hand experience with the extreme discomfort that comes with seeing a six-foot biological male in a women’s locker room. She openly shared this experience during our Kansas City Chapter meeting. However, Riley, and other women all over the country know that locker rooms are only the tip of the iceberg. 

The Women’s Bill of Rights will also protect women in prison wards and domestic violence shelters. If we can’t protect women in these highly vulnerable situations, what else is in jeopardy?  

Protecting women’s rights goes far beyond sports, and I applaud Riley Gaines for having the courage to speak out. The Kansas City Chapter was honored to meet with her and hear her testimony firsthand. 

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