NCAA officer resigns amid transgender policy controversy as reports of Lia Thomas' 'entitlement' surface
Controversies about men competing against women dominates college sports news as fallout from the NCAA's new policy and the Lia Thomas controversy continues.
Campus Reform also spoke with college athletes from across the country about Thomas’ 'toxic' behavior.
Dorian Rhea Debussy, a member of the NCAA Division III LGBTQ OneTeam program, recently resigned over the organization's updated policy on transgender athletes.
“I’m deeply troubled by what appears to be a devolving level of active, effective, committed, and equitable support for gender diverse student-athletes within the NCAA’s leadership," Debussy said, according to Fox News, after the national organization adopted a "sport-by-sport" approach to determining transgender athlete's eligibility to compete on opposite-gender teams.
According to Fox News, Debussy said, "As a non-binary, trans-feminine person, I can no longer, in good conscience, maintain my affiliation with the NCAA.”
Prior to this announcement, reports of University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas have recently surfaced accusing him of being arrogant and self-satisfied.
One of Thomas’ teammates came forward in an interview with the Washington Examiner, telling the outlet that the swimmer has compared himself to Jackie Robinson, the African-American baseball player who pioneered racial integration in the sport.
The teammate, who chose to remain anonymous, told the Washington Examiner, “She said she is like the Jackie Robinson of trans sports.”
The teammate also explained how the trans athlete’s sense of, “entitlement, selfishness, and a general disregard for overall performance,” has caused a “toxic” team environment.
[RELATED: 'Everything is messed up': Lia Thomas takes first place at meet. Parents, students struggle to speak out over transgender athletes.]
Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps spoke out against Lia Thomas in a CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour, saying that the whole situation is “complicated.”
In the interview, Phelps said that, “It has to be a level playing field. I think that's something that we all need. Because that’s what sports are and for me, I don’t know where this is going to go. I don’t know what’s going to happen."
Another accusation alleges that Lia Thomas colluded with another transgender swimmer to make it appear that he does not have the advantage people think he does.
OutKick recently published an interview with one of Thomas’ teammates, who accuses the transgender athlete of colluding with Yale University swimmer Iszac Henig, another transgender athlete, ahead of a recent swim meet.
“I know they’re friends and I know they were talking before the meet. I think she let her win to prove the point that, ‘Oh see, a female-to-male beat me,” the anonymous swimmer told OutKick. “I do. I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t be shocked if I found out that was 100% true.”
Campus Reform spoke with college athletes from across the country to get their reactions to the accusations made against Lia Thomas.
Noah Demis, a cross country and track athlete at Saint Joseph’s University, said Thomas “comes off as very arrogant” when comparing himself to Jackie Robinson.
“I support transgender people participating in sports, but I don’t support a cocky athlete,” Demis told Campus Reform.
[RELATED: A look at 5 transgender college sports controversies]
Jahmarri Green, a football player at Friends University, also called out Thomas for comparing himself to Jackie Robinson.
“Well, Jackie didn’t have the biological advantage Lia has,” Green said.
“It’s a wild comparison really. Not only did [Robinson] change baseball but was also an influential figure in the desegregation of baseball. The comparison is a disservice really.”
Point Park University golfer Tyler Hillard also shared his perspective about Lia Thomas’ toxic behavior.
“First off, what he has done to women's sports is completely embarrassing and unfair to female athletes,” Hillard told Campus Reform.
“It is also insulting for him to compare himself to one of the main athletes to break the color barrier while also exceeding and being one of the best baseball players of his time.”
To conclude, Hillard argues that, “There should be zero room for discussion to have him being compared to any athlete because frankly what he has done should not be recorded and all of his ‘accomplishments’ should be revoked.”
Campus Reform reached out to the University of Pennsylvania for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
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