According to the NCAA, the award is an “important opportunity to honor and reflect on the impact of women in intercollegiate sports.”
The University of Pennsylvania has once again generated controversy and is facing a wave of criticism after nominating transgender swimmer Lia Thomas for the 2022 ‘Woman of the Year’ award, given by the US National Collegiate Sports Association (NCAA).
According to the NCAA, the award, which will be presented in January 2023, is a recognition of student athletes who “have distinguished themselves in their community, in athletics, and in academics throughout their college careers.” In addition, it highlights that the award is an “important opportunity to honor and reflect on the impact of women on intercollegiate sports”.
Each one of the educational entities that belong to the National Collegiate Sports Association of the USA can nominate up to two of its graduating student athletes, and Lia Thomas appears as one of the two candidates for the University of Pennsylvania a. Thomas has been a very controversial figure in swimming competitions after becoming the first transgender athlete to achieve the NCAA Division I title and breaking several records in women’s tournaments.
Thomas, previously called Will, competed as a male for three years on the team University of Pennsylvania men’s team, last in 2019, before transitioning to the women’s team.
Her nomination for ‘Woman of the Year’ has provoked criticism among biological women and part of American society. Riley Gaines, nominated for the award by the University of Kentucky, described the decision of the educational institution of Pennsylvania as ” another slap in the face for women “. “First a women’s national title and now nominated for the prestigious award in collegiate athletics. The NCAA has rendered this award void,” lamented Gaines.
“Are there not enough biological female athletes?”, questioned an Internet user, while another user explained that Lia Thomas “ she cannot be the woman of the year because she is not a woman”. Others, on the other hand, felt that “this shit [gender diversity] is getting out of control.”