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Trans Penn swimmer Lia Thomas likens herself to Jackie Robinson: teammate

Lia Thomas, the standout transgender swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, has created a “toxic environment” for the school’s women’s team, a new report claims.

Speaking anonymously to The Washington Examiner, a teammate complained that Thomas has acted entitled — even likening herself to groundbreaking baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

“She compares herself to Jackie Robinson. She said she is like the Jackie Robinson of trans sports,” the teammate told Christopher Tremoglie, in the op-ed published Thursday.

Thomas competed on the Ivy League school’s men’s team for three years before transitioning genders, and has since shattered women’s records at the university.

“She laughs about it and mocks the situation,” the teammate told the Examiner. “Instead of caring or showing that she cares about what she’s doing or what she’s doing to her teammates, she’s not sympathetic or empathetic at all. Lia never addressed our team. She never asked if it was OK. She never asked how we felt. She never tried to explain how she feels. She never has said anything to us as a group. She never addressed anything.

Lia Thomas sparked controversy after shattering records and dominating Ivy League competition.
Lia Thomas sparked controversy after shattering records and dominating Ivy League competition.
Twitter / @PennSwimDive

“All she does is make comments to people like, ‘At least I’m still No. 1 in the country,’ and those kinds of cocky things,” the teammate continued. “She doesn’t care how all this is affecting us and how this is affecting our relationship to swimming. She doesn’t care, and it makes it really hard to like her.”

Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer on UPenn's swimming team.
A fellow teammate claims Lia Thomas “mocks the situation.”
Penn Athletics

The teammate also told the paper that Thomas has refused to follow team rules regarding dress code, and wore Penn gear on a trip to Florida despite orders to not draw attention to the team to avoid harassment.

Thomas said last month she just ignores the widespread backlash about her performance.

“It’s not healthy for me to read it and engage with it at all, and so I don’t, and that’s all I’ll say on that,” she said.

Thomas told her school paper last year that swimming remained a steady force in her life.

“Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport and being able to continue is very rewarding,” she said.

Last week, Thomas lost a race to Iszac Henig, a Yale University trans athlete who swims on the women’s team.

About the author

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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