Riley Gaines slams new Title IX protections as the ‘most anti-woman’ pursuit of the Biden administration


Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines called President Joe Biden’s overhaul of Title IX the “most anti-woman” pursuit of this administration as six other states filed a lawsuit challenging the new provisions on Tuesday. 

Speaking at a virtual press conference attended by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Gaines spoke at length about the overhaul which aims at safeguarding LGBTQ+ students and changing the ways in which sexual harassment and assault claims are adjudicated on campus. 

“This is the most anti-woman, anti-reality pursuit we have seen from this administration thus far,” Gaines, an OutKick contributor who hosts the “Gaines for Girls” podcast, said. 


“Across the country and in various sports, males are entering women’s athletic competitions, being given spots on women’s teams, and being granted entry into our locker rooms. To date, males have stolen over 943 trophies, medals and titles from women and girls across 458 different competitions and in over 31 different sports. But the harm they cause is exponential, as every time a man even competes in an event or makes a team, a female athlete loses an opportunity to race, a spot on that team or playing time on the field.”

Gaines also expressed concern over women’s spaces, including in locker rooms. 

“Allowing males to compete in women’s sports is risky, it is unfair, it is discriminatory, and it is regressive. And it must stop. Which is exactly why we have been so tenacious in this pursuit for sex-based protections. I know that the six attorney generals, including General Skrmetti and General Morrisey, will not quit until women and girls sports, spaces and opportunities are for women and girls only.”


While the administration’s new rules broadly protect against discrimination based on sex, they do not offer guidance around transgender athletes, but many Republican states argue that they could be interpreted as such.

Tuesday’s filing, co-led by Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky and joined by Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana, also challenges the authority of the rewrite. 

“The new rules expand the definition of Title IX sex discrimination to include gender identity, which is something that’s just not consistent with the text of the statute,” Skrmetti said Tuesday. 

“In our system, Congress makes the law. Our elected representatives are the ones who are given the authority and the ability to create laws for the country. The federal agencies are not able to rewrite those laws. And so we’re saying that the attempt by the Department of Education to expand the definition of sex discrimination runs afoul of our separation of powers, the fundamental principle of American government.” 


“There are a group of states that are stepping up today that are saying that’s not acceptable,” Morrisey added. “It alienates women’s privacy. It implicates women’s security. It puts them in jeopardy of having fairness and justice in terms of participation in sports. Obviously, it also opens up the door to significant First Amendment and federalism issues. And those are just some of the reasons why you have these six states stepping together and fighting against this very radical policy.” 

Skrmetti said despite the risk of not receiving federal education funding, states should “push back.” 

“I would say that every state across America needs to say no to this radical rewrite of Title IX. And if the federal government is going to try to impose unlawful interpretations on the states, it’s critical that the states push back. I’m always hopeful that it doesn’t come to the federal government taking away some of the economic opportunities for women and for some of these schools. But I also think it’s critical that we say no to these radical rewrites, because at the end of the day, the states play a very critical role in our system of constitutional governance, and we cannot allow the federal government to just run roughshod over states rights.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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