TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WSVN) - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed the National Collegiate Athletic Association and said the state will recognize a swimmer from Sarasota as the winner of the 500-yard freestyle competition instead of transgender athlete Lia Thomas.
On Tuesday afternoon, the governor tweeted the declaration along with a caption reading, “By allowing men to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud. In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.”
In the proclamation, DeSantis lists Weyant’s accomplishments and accolades but does not mention Lia Thomas by name.
The proclamation reads in part, “A man identifying as a woman was allowed to compete in and was declared the winner of the race by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Emma was determined to have come in second place.”
DeSantis further explained his reasoning saying back in 2021, he signed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which, “specifies that an athletic team or sport that is designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex, based on the student’s biological sex listed on the student’s official birth certificate at the time of birth.”
He finished the letter saying, “Florida rejects the NCAA’s efforts to destroy women’s athletics, disapproves of the NCAA elevating ideology over biology, and takes offense at the NCAA trying to make others complicit in a lie.”
Since Weyant is a Florida native, DeSantis declared her the winner of the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Women’s 500-yard Freestyle competition.
Thomas is a member of the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team and became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I title after finishing first in the women’s 500-yard freestyle event.
Thomas’ rise in women’s sports has sparked criticism and debate over transgender women’s competition in female athletics.
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