Jay Bergman, professor of history at Central Connecticut State University, has written a letter to the University of Pennsylvania over its decision to name transgender swimmer Lia Thomas as one of its two nominees for the National Collegiate Athletic Association 2022 Woman of the Year award.
The letter is reprinted with permission below:
Not in my 56 years in academia as a undergraduate, a graduate student, and a professor of history has a university done something so contrary to science, reason, common sense, and sheer human decency as what Penn has done in nominating Will Thomas to receive the NCAA’s Woman of the Year Award.
Will Thomas is not a woman. He will never be a woman. To claim that he is is to defy the foundational principles of human genetics. This is not just my opinion. It is the opinion of reputable biologists and geneticists. And the participation of men like Thomas who claim to be women in female sports has been condemned by female athletes and others, among them Martina Navratilova, who by no stretch of the imagination could be said to be “transphobic.” Even Caitlyn Jenner has stated publicly that trans men should not participate in female sports competitions.
Thomas himself is a cheat. The physiological advantages he enjoys that are conferred by his being born male are no different, in competitive sports, from taking steroids. His claim to be like Jackie Robinson, breaking down barriers in sports, is as absurd as it is narcissistic.
Worst of all, the University of Pennsylvania has shown that it cares not at all for the genuinely female members of its swim team, all of whose training, over a period of years, has meant nothing thanks to the intrusion of a man in swimming competitions that any sane human being would limit to biological women. And to urge these swimmers to seek psychological counseling so as to better understand why they have to lose to a biological man is arrogant, insensitive, and typical of the closed-mindedness of the academic left in America today.
Professor of History
Central CT State University
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