Former NCAA star swimmer Riley Gaines took issue with Brittney Griner’s remarks about transgender athletes’ participation in sports.
Griner, the Phoenix Mercury star who made her first media appearance ahead of the start of the 2023 WNBA season, called it “a crime” to “separate someone for any reason” when asked about state legislation that’s aimed at preventing transgender athletes from competing against those of the gender they identify as.
“Which NBA team would have @brittneygriner since apparently the overwhelming, obvious differences between men and women should simply be overlooked? Heartbreaking to see athletically successful women take this demeaning stance,” Gaines tweeted Sunday.
“And if we’re going to talk about crimes, Brittney…”
Griner made her comments on Thursday.
“That ranks high on the list of things I’ll be fighting for and speaking up against,” Griner said when asked by an ESPN reporter about advocating for transgender athletes. “Everyone deserves the right to play. Everyone deserves the right to come here, sit in these seats and feel safe – and not feel like there’s the threat, or they can’t be who they are, or like it’s just all eyes on them.”
“I think it’s a crime, honestly, to separate someone for any reason. So, I definitely will be speaking up against that legislation and those laws that are trying to be passed, for sure.”
On Wednesday, the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s executive board voted that high schools and middle schools must see the first birth certificates of transgender athletes in order to decide which teams they can play on.
The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act passed in the House last week, which aims at preventing biological males from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.
“Today is a great day for America, for fairness, for families, and most importantly for female athletes,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said. “House Republicans pledged before the last election our commitment to America to women and girls in sports. Today, we kept that promise.”
President Joe Biden has said he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
Griner was arrested in February 2022 for bringing vape cartridges containing hash oil through a Moscow airport. She was convicted of the crime in what was described as a sham trial.
In December, Russia released her as part of a prisoner swap for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Fox News’ Joe Morgan contributed to this report.