Former NCAA Swimmer Riley Gaines Fact Checks Democrat Witness in Real Time
Gaines, who also testified during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Protecting Pride: Defending the Civil Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans,” disputed the claim — made by Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson — that biological males had no inherent advantage when it came to athletics.
Dem witness: “There’s been this news article about men that think they can beat Serena Williams in tennis. And it’s just not the case. She is stronger than them.” @Riley_Gaines_: “Both Serena and Venus lost to the 203rd ranked male tennis player.” pic.twitter.com/MSAnV6IA5t
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 21, 2023
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) put the question to Robinson, who describes herself as the HRC’s first queer black president, asking her if she could provide an example proving that men did not have a biological advantage over women when it came to sports.
“You don’t believe that a biological male has a physical advantage in sports over a biological female?” Kennedy asked.
“Not as a definitive statement,” Robinson said, shaking her head.
“Give me an example … nah, well, I don’t think … how many female members of the NBA do you see?” Kennedy asked.
“I can say that there’s been this news article about men that think they can beat Serena Williams in tennis, right? That they think they could actually score a point on her,” Robinson replied. “And it’s just not the case. She is stronger than them.”
Kennedy turned the same question to Gaines, then, asking what her experience had been when women competed against biological males.
But instead of beginning with her own experience — competing at last year’s NCAA championships against trans-identifying male swimmer Lia Thomas — Gaines began with a quick fact check of Robinson’s claim.
“Both Serena and Venus lost to the 203rd ranked male tennis player, which — they’re phenoms for women,” she said, and then added her own personal experience as well. “My experience, my husband, he swam at the University of Kentucky as well. In terms of accolades, in terms of national ranking, I was a much better swimmer than him. He could kick my butt any day of the week — without trying.”
The game Gaines referenced took place in 1998, after Serena and Venus Williams boasted that no male player outside the top 200 in world rankings would be able to beat them. German player Karsten Braasch, ranked 203rd in the men’s circuit, took them on, beating Serena 6-1 and Venus 6-2.
“I didn’t know it would be that difficult. I played shots that would have been winners on the women’s circuit and he got to them very easily,” Serena observed when it was over.
Braasch’s assessment was a bit more brutal: “They wouldn’t have had a chance against anyone inside the top 500 because today I played like someone ranked 600th to keep it fun.”
" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."