Former championship swimmer Riley Gaines has expressed her support for the recent actions taken by Republican lawmakers in Texas to safeguard women’s sports. In a heartfelt video released on Thursday, Gaines applauded Governor Greg Abbott for signing SB15, a bill aimed at protecting female athletes from the encroachment of biological males.
BREAKING! Gov. @GregAbbott has signed SB15, the #SaveWomensSports bill into law today! No longer will men steal trophy's, opportunities, & scholarships from women at the collegiate level! Thank you Representative @ValoreeSwanson & Senator @mayes_middleton @Riley_Gaines_ #txlege pic.twitter.com/wuPnAN6e5Z
— Texas Values Action (@TxValuesAction) June 15, 2023
Gaines, known for her incredible achievements in the NCAA swimming world, believes that this legislation, signed into effect by Governor Abbott, will have far-reaching positive impacts not only in Texas, but also across the entire country.
Reflecting on the significance of the new law, she stated, “This is huge news not just for Texans but for girls across the country. I could not be more grateful for the leadership of Governor Abbott and really taking this on and signing this into effect.”
Under the provisions of the legislation, individuals who are biologically male but identify as transgender women will no longer be permitted to participate in women’s sporting competitions within Texas colleges and universities.
This vital measure ensures that athletes compete in sports according to the gender they were assigned at birth, thus upholding the core principles of fairness and maintaining a level playing field.
Moreover, the new law holds schools accountable for maintaining the integrity of women’s sports. Institutions that permit trans athletes to compete based on their self-identified gender, rather than their biological gender, can now face legal action initiated by students who believe their rights and opportunities have been compromised.
Gaines, who was gladdened by the new law, also extended her appreciation to Representative Valoree Swanson (R-TX) and Senator Mayes Middleton (R-TX) for their instrumental roles in championing this bill and for their commitment to the values that Texans hold dear.
According to the former athlete, without the lawmakers’ dedication to the cause, this significant milestone would not have been possible.
In response to her appreciation of SB15, Abbott expressed his pride in Gaines’ courageous advocacy for the protection of women’s sports. He commended her efforts and reaffirmed the significance of the legislation, emphasizing that it will create opportunities for women to thrive in collegiate sports for generations to come.
Thank you, @Riley_Gaines_.
Proud of your bravery in advocating for the protection of women's sports.
With the law I signed today, Texas will ensure collegiate sports give women an opportunity to thrive for generations to come. pic.twitter.com/kqHHoFnAvE
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 15, 2023
Gaines, who gained national attention after an unfair competition against biological male swimmer Lia Thomas in the women’s 200-meter freestyle event at the NCAA championships, has emerged as a prominent advocate for protecting women’s sports from the intrusion of biological males.