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Clay and Buck

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Senator Paul and Riley Gaines Join Forces to Save Women’s Sports

28 Sep 2022

BUCK: Kentucky senator Rand Paul is with us now and University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who tied with Lia Thomas in the 200-yard freestyle of the NCAA women’s championship. Riley Gaines also with us. I thank you both for joining us. Appreciate it.

SEN. PAUL: Thanks. Thanks for having us.

GAINES: Thank you, too.

BUCK: So, Senator Paul, what is this initiative that you’re pushing here or just this campaign? I know we’re gonna have an ad you released today up at ClayAndBuck.com on just the fairness of allowing women only to compete in women’s sports. What do people need to know?


SEN. PAUL: You know, my wife and I saw Riley Gaines on television being brave enough to stand up for women in sports and that really only women — I know this is a radical idea, but that only women — should be in women’s sports. (chuckles) And we thought, my goodness, what a brave young woman who swam at University of Kentucky — my home state, All-American, this great champion, and she’s brave enough, despite all the sort of cyber threats of bullying and repercussions if you do this. She’s been brave enough, and there hasn’t been many that have done it. Most of them have been cowed into silence. But the thing is, somebody has to stand up. So both my wife and I said we want to endorse what Riley Gaines is doing, and as a consequence, Riley Gaines said, well, she wanted to endorse what we were doing; so it worked out very well.


BUCK: Riley, I wanted to ask you, how has this been for you in terms of, first of all, how did the University of Kentucky, how has it been handled by your school? And also, have you gotten a lot of other female swimmers or just female athletes in general who have reached out to you privately to say, “Thank you for what you’re doing”?

GAINES: Yeah. What the (audio drop). I’ve had so much support from my university and really across the state of Kentucky. I think this speaks volumes. I didn’t realize initially when speaking out that so many girls across the country are silent. So what I’m dealing with is truly an anomaly, and so I’m so grateful for everyone in the athletic department. Mitch Barnhart, oh, my gosh, I can’t say enough good things about him. But in terms of getting other people messaging me privately, that’s exactly what it’s been.

There’s been a lot of messaging privately, and of course, it’s because people are scared, especially girls within the Ivy League. They are so emotionally blackmailed. People at their schools within the athletic department are telling them that they will never get into grad school; they will never get a job. Their school has taken their stance for them, and if they so choose to speak out and any harm comes to any sort of transgender athlete, they are solely responsible. And so, these girls are silenced, they’re intimidated, and feel like they’re in the wrong for thinking (crosstalk).

BUCK: Can I ask you, Riley, just in that moment when you were in the NCAA women’s freelance 200-yard championship and you’re telling me you tied way six foot four male, who now goes by Lia Thomas, did people…? Like, were they expected you — and I mean, the people that were really there at that time, the officials running the race and the other team and your team, they were expecting you — to be okay with this?

GAINES: Well, I initially didn’t even want to swim the race. I know there’s great movement behind striking something, and so I thought to myself, “I’m not gonna swim this race. I’m gonna stand on the block,” and so I went to an official and told them, hey, what happens if I don’t swim? He said, “If you don’t swim, it is next person up. He said we will not reserve your spot and there will be someone swimming in that lane.”

And so at that point, I don’t want to sacrifice everything I’ve worked for to give it to someone else and not make a difference. And so I told myself, “Okay, fine, I’ll swim, but I’m not going on the podium.” But then of course we tied, and I thought to myself, “This is all happening so quickly.” But I thought to myself, “Maybe if I get on that podium with Lia Thomas people will see the direct comparison between a six-four biological man and a five-five woman.”

Penn nominated transgender swimmer Lia Thomas as their NCAA woman of the year. Hell of an accomplishment to be woman of the year after only being a woman for a couple of years. https://t.co/gW3acTQ1Jl

— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 15, 2022

BUCK: Can I just say, you must be a heck all of swimmer. It’s amazing that you tied with a six-foot-four man who’s a college swimmer.

GAINES: (chuckles) I think there’s some speculation there in terms of if Lia Thomas was trying as hard as possible because if Lia had been going times that Thomas went earlier in the season, it would have been… Thomas would have won.

BUCK: Ah, I see. Interesting.

GAINES: So, what a mockery.

BUCK: Well, you’re still the best female swimmer in the country in the NCAA 200-yard freestyle so you’re actually the champion in that event.

GAINES: (chuckling)

.@RandPaul has joined swimmer @RileyGaines in the fight to keep biological men out of women’s sports. @MariaLeaf reports.https://t.co/X7lp48qZ0s

— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 28, 2022

BUCK: Senator Rand Paul, can I ask you, is this a matter of…? What happens here with this? Yes, you’re running this ad; we’re gonna have it up at ClayAndBuck.com. People should know more about this. Riley is speaking out. But is this a matter of federal legislation? What has to happen now to protect women’s sports?

SEN. PAUL: I think first we have to publicly talk about it and show that this isn’t normal, this isn’t acceptable, and it’s not fair. I think we have to win the public argument. But there’s also other avenues. The NCAA makes rules, the Olympic Committee on Swimming makes rules, the amateur committees makes rules, and people have to push back. If they don’t push back, they’re just gonna let men take over women’s sports. Imagine if there were five of these Lia Thomases that showed up that were former men’s swimming — been on the swimming the team in college on the men’s team and switch over and they take all the first top five places?

Can you imagine what happens? Well, we have to win the argument — I think the argument’s on our side — then people need to be mothers and fathers of daughters who are swimming saying, “We’re not gonna let this happen,” protesting the amateur rules, the Olympic rules, the NCAA rules. And then is there a possibility government gets involved in maybe. Different state governments are looking at this now. A lot of these universities receive state funds. That was the argument for Title IX in the first place is that if they’re receiving state funds, the state funds would come from taxpayers equally, maybe men and women should have to be treated equally in sports.

There’s some logic behind this, and so the state legislature may be a recourse and ultimately maybe the federal government. If people know me well, they know I’m hesitant to do anything that begins at the federal government. It ought to begin privately first, then locally, then state, then maybe up here. But I’m open to all avenues. But I do want the argument to be had, and I don’t want people to be shamed and to quietly just sit at home and say, “Rumble, rumble, rumble. This is unfair,” but not actually speak out. So, I’m proud of you Riley Gaines for speaking out, and I want to see more of this. I’m hoping she’ll be an example to another generation of young girls coming up and also to other world class athletes competing at that level, that they shouldn’t just give away their sport to men.

BUCK: Senator Paul, I’ve also got to ask you. You’re a doctor. We often have you on the show to talk about Fauci and the covid… We say “the covid madness.” Now I think it’s really the covid wrongness. I mean, they’ve effectively been wrong about everything. And a lot of doctors were mobilized in that effort to be wrong on a matter of — many matters of — public policy. I see a lot of MDs now popping up here and there saying, “Men and women? Not really a lot of biological difference actually.” It just feels like there are people who are destroying the respect and the credibility of medical professionals in pursuit of any number of things, but this is one of them, pretending that there isn’t a biological difference between men and women and that’s right in sports. It matters in a whole range of things.

SEN. PAUL: Yeah, I think when they say things like that that are so clearly refutable just by looking at people and looking at the sheer size, but also there’s all kinds of statistical evidence. I think it’s the top 400 boy runners of the 200 meters are faster than the fastest girl college 200 meters. So, it just is. It’s not something to denigrate women. It’s just they’re different sizes, different size of muscles, different size of lungs. And to say there isn’t is just to be anti-science, to be a flat-earther.

And so I don’t think they can win this argument. That’s the problem even with the covid people. They come out with things that the common man has read enough to know that they’re not being honest with us. It’s the same thing here. They’re gonna tell us Lia Thomas has no advantage being six-foot-four. You know, and so that’s just… (laughing) Nobody believes that, and so they lose their credibility. I don’t think they win the argument. I think they lose their credibility. But it still requires people to speak out and point out their hypocrisy and inconsistencies.

BUCK: Riley, for people who want to support you or any initiatives that you’re doing to try to get the word out, where should they go?

GAINES: Well, I am cochairing a new federal PAC Called NinePAC. The website is NinePAC.org. It mentions what this PAC is in place for. And of course, if people are willing to donate and give back, that’s a great way to help protect biological women in sports.

BUCK: Senator Rand Paul and Riley Gaines, both of Kentucky, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

SEN. PAUL: Thanks, guys.

GAINES: Thank you.



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