Former college athlete Riley Gaines announced this week that she will be pursuing legal action after protesters attacked her during a presentation at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The incident left Gaines isolated in a classroom until city police could rescue her.
Gaines came to national attention due to her protest against the participation of biologically-male swimmer Leah Thomas, formerly known as William Thomas.
I'm sorry did this just say PEACEFUL…. I was assaulted. I was extorted and held for random. The protestors demanded I pay them if I wanted to make it home safely. I missed my flight home because I was barricaded in a classroom…
We must have different definitions of peaceful. https://t.co/izxoCF1IFs
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) April 9, 2023
During a presentation at SFSU, Gaines was attacked and struck by protesters. The swimmer said that she is “worried about my safety. I have to be now.”
She also said that the protesters that attacked her “protrude by violence, whether it’s physical or verbal violence.”
On Friday, Gaines told Tucker Carlson on Fox News that she would be pursuing legal action. When asked by Carlson about whether or not any members of the California state government defended her, Gaines said “no.”
The swimmer added that the potential legal action will “ensure that the people who physically assaulted me, the people who put me in that position, they will face repercussions.”
Thomas gained significant notoriety for switching from the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swimming team to the women’s team. The swimmer allegedly exposed male genitalia to the female swimmers.
Following the switch of teams, Thomas became a dominant swimmer in the women’s leagues, including breaking several NCAA records.
Gaines said that this was “worse than the competition piece.”
She added that several years ago, such an action “would have been considered some form of sexual assault, voyeurism.”
Gaines attended President Joe Biden’s State of the Union in February as the guest of Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI).
Gaines tied with Thomas for fifth place at a national competition in 2022.
Thomas compared the role of switching from the men’s to women’s teams as similar to the role of baseball great Jackie Robinson in breaking that sport’s color barrier in the 1940s.
Last January, Thomas lost a competition to Iszac Henig, another transgender swimmer from Yale University. Like Thomas, Henig is a biological male who joined the women’s swim team.