Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Riley Gaines: ‘ambushed, ‘physically hit twice by a man’ while defending women’s sports at SFSU

‘Trans rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up and fight back,’ protesters chanted before assault

Riley Gaines, a leading voice in the national battle to block biological males from competing in women’s sports, said she was assaulted at San Francisco State University on Thursday night after serving as the keynote speaker at a “Saving Women’s Sports” event on campus.

“The prisoners are running the asylum at SFSU…I was ambushed and physically hit twice by a man. This is proof that women need sex-protected spaces,” she tweeted along with a video showing her being escorted through a hallway with police officers and others hovering near her in a protective mode as a chanting mob of students and others holding cameras following close behind.

They chanted “trans rights are human rights” and one demonstrator repeatedly called her a “fucking bitch” as Riley entered into a classroom for protection. Another video tweeted by a conservative commentator showed a large group of students barricading the door and suggesting they should either make her miss her flight or she should pay them $10 each to let her out.

Gaines was at San Francisco State University at the behest of its Turning Point USA chapter. The chapter was founded this spring and Gaines was its first speaker, the student newspaper the Golden Gate Express reported.

Gaines is an accomplished former University of Kentucky swimmer who competed against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

“The event concluded at 8:26 p.m but protesters then entered the room, forcing Gaines to take shelter in HSS Building Room 325. Protesters continued to demonstrate for roughly three hours outside the door where Gaines was believed to be held, blasting music from speakers and chanting,” the Express reported.

“At 11:36 p.m., UPD announced that those remaining in the building were unlawfully assembled and subject to arrest. About eight police members created a barrier and forged a pathway for Gaines to exit. With a full police escort, Gaines finally left campus at 11:38 p.m. as protesters continued to shout. ”

San Francisco State University and its police department told TMZ on Friday no arrests were made and they are still investigating.

“The disruption occurred after the conclusion of the event which made it necessary for UPD officers to move the event speaker from the room to a different, safe location,” a university official said.

The Express reported that those who came to protest the event “outnumbered TPUSA’s supporters at least 2-to-1 in HSS Building Room 310, where the max capacity is 75 people. … By 6:54 p.m. the room was at maximum capacity and the remaining protesters waited outside, chanting ‘trans women are women’ and ‘trans rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up and fight back.’”

The “atmosphere was intense,” the Express reported, adding that for “the first half of the event, Gaines’ talk went mostly uninterrupted, with just a few scoffs and snickers as she recounted her story. However, the energy began to build during the Q&A portion near the end.”

Videos of Gaines’ escape down the hallway and into a secured room went viral and led to condemnations from a wide variety of sources, including Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, who retweeted the video and called it “an appalling attack on free speech on a college campus. House Republicans stand with Riley Gaines and her brave and tireless efforts to protect women’s sports.”

Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn called for a probe.

“San Francisco State University and law enforcement must take immediate action to hold those who assaulted @Riley_Gaines_ accountable. We will not allow the violent radical left mob to silence us,” Blackburn tweeted.

Women’s rights activist Asra Nomani also weighed in, commending Gaines for her bravery: “If you ever feel frozen by trauma or fear, remember this image I’ve clipped: a young woman, @Riley_Gaines_, in a ponytail, baby blue sweatshirt + shorts faces the mob, squares her shoulders + turns her camera on the mob. You too can do it.”

The attack took place on the same day that the Supreme Court rejected an attempt by West Virginia’s attorney general and the conservative law firm Alliance for Defending Freedom to bar a biological male from participating in female sports.

MORE: ‘Frustrating’: College leaders tell Riley Gaines — in secret — they support #SaveWomensSports

IMAGES: Twitter screenshots

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.