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No, transphobes, Lia Thomas didn't cause the U.S. Swimming team to almost quit

No, transphobes, Lia Thomas didn't cause the U.S. Swimming team to almost quit

Lia Thomas US Swim Team
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A false Facebook post claiming the U.S. women's swimming team threatened to quit if trans athlete Lia Thomas was allowed to try out have been debunked.

The U.S. women's swimming team did not threaten to "resign" if transgender swimmer Lia Thomas was permitted to try out.

A Facebook post claiming to contain a quote from the coach of the U.S. women's team has been debunked by fact checkers at the Poynter Institute's Politifact. The post quotes an unnamed coach and does not attribute the statement to an outlet. Fact-checkers could not find the outlet it originated from.

“The US Women’s team has made it clear they will resign immediately if the Olympic Committee allows Lia Thomas to try out. 'We don’t need an outsider,’ the Coach stated. 'We are champions solely composed of females. We don’t welcome male participation,'" the fake post reads.

The post appeared to be lifted from an older fictional article posted on a satirical news website with the headline: “US Women’s team says they’ll quit if Lia Thomas gets a tryout: ‘We don’t need a ringer.'"

The United States has not yet chosen which swimmers will represent the nation at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, save for Katie Grimes and Mariah Denigan, who qualified at past World Aquatics Championships. The U.S. swimming trials will be held June 15 through 23 in Indianapolis.

False posts have consistently targeted Thomas throughout her career as an athlete. After she made history in 2022 by becoming the first out trans athlete to win a Division I national title, a fake tweet from someone posing as one of her competitors went viral, receiving over 100,000 likes and even being quote-tweeted by Caitlyn Jenner.

"My finals spot was stolen by Lia Thomas, who is a biological male," the fake post read. "Until we all refuse to compete nothing will change. Thanks for all the support retweets and follows I won't stop fighting."

The fake Twitter account was suspended in less than 24 hours. The recent Facebook has been allowed to remain up, with a disinformation disclaimer attached.

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.