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‘Tyranny of the minority’ comes for women’s sports

By Matthew Delaney

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.

The only tyrannies from which men, women, and children are suffering in real life are the tyrannies of minorities. – Theodore Roosevelt in his “The Right of the People to Rule” speech, March 20, 1912. 

Over 100 years ago, the future face on Mount Rushmore called out the powerful minority who had monopolized peoples’ supply of food, medicine and utilities, effectuating a silent master-servant relationship by overseeing “the whole calendar of social and industrial injustice.” 

Legendary swim coach David “Dave” Salo drew inspiration from Roosevelt’s speech when characterizing the new-age tyrannical minority that’s coming for the sport he loves. 

“Not the minority in terms of black/white. It’s the minority perception of things,” Salo told ScoonTv. 

The former Olympic coach and University of Southern California women’s swim coach, and currently the general manager at Irvine Novaquatics in SoCal, is well-versed in how this perception has conquered other parts of our culture — from Disney’s obsession with gender ideology to major corporations writing checks to Black Lives Matter to avoid being called racist.  

But with every cause that serves the woke few, Salo said it’s the majority who lose out. Now, the entirety of women’s sports is under threat after the NCAA enabled Lia Thomas as she secured a championship victory last month. 

This isn’t anything personal against Lia Thomas or her life choices for Salo. He had a friend undergo a gender transition in their mid-60s, and he couldn’t fathom how they made it their whole life dealing with that inner conflict.  

What makes Lia’s situation different is that she came of age physically as Will — a fully grown, 6’3 man who set records at his high school club and earned a spot on the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team. 

It was a moment where the NCAA needed to sympathize with Lia’s newfound identity, while still protecting the integrity of the female competition she sought to enter. Instead, they balked, and we got one of the most unique medal stand photo ops ever.  

The NCAA has been inconsistent on this from the start.

When the International Olympic Committee made rules allowing trans women to compete if they had at least 10 nanomoles per liter or less, it signaled the individual governing bodies of each sport to do the same (unless they wanted to risk being barred from Olympic competition, according to Salo). So, USA Swimming set a stricter standard in February that said any trans woman who wanted to compete had to have at least 5 nanomoles per liter for a minimum of three years. 

Originally, the NCAA said it would defer to whatever the heads of each individual sport came up with. However, when USA Swimming released theirs about a month ahead of the NCAA swimming championships, the NCAA said it came too late. Instead, they went with a more lenient standard that allowed Thomas to compete. 

Everyone from media figures to athletes directed their ire at the collegiate athletic association over this.

John Lohn, the editor-in-chief of Swimming World magazine, wrote a scathing op-ed calling out the NCAA for abandoning their female athletes and turning their competition into a charade.  

Riley Gaines, a swimmer for the University of Kentucky, tied with Thomas for fifth in the 200-meter race at the NCAA competition, but lost out on holding the ceremonial fifth place trophy. She told her college’s student newspaper how peeved she was that the association swept her hard work under the rug in order to save face from the woke crowd. 

Coaches are the one group that have been relatively silent about this whole thing. That was until ScoonTv got a hold of Mike Kolebar, owner and operator of Nitro Swimming in Austin, Texas, and the president of the American Swimming Coaches Association.  

From his experience, coaches are livid, but “they’re afraid to speak out.”  

“I have not yet heard or discussed this issue with a coach who was not against this — allowing a male transitioning to female to compete against biological females — I haven’t had one,” Kolebar continued. “Yet, most coaches do not have a voice. Because they’re afraid to speak up, or if they’re in an NCAA position, they’ve been told by their universities, ‘You don’t say a word about this.’” 

The message coming from players, coaches, and the swim-focused media alike is simple: Don’t let biological men compete in women’s sports. 

This isn’t a stance borne from transphobia either, as criticisms are often labeled. 

Gaines told her student newspaper she wasn’t against Thomas or her transition, but the NCAA’s unfair rules. Kolebar said he’d have no problem welcoming Thomas to his pool and training her, but he finds it absurd that the sport’s governing bodies define womanhood by how much testosterone someone has in their blood. 

Kolebar’s comment dovetails nicely into something Salo thinks is being overlooked: What kind of testing regimen is being developed to monitor how faithful people are to their gender transitions? What if, he asked, a trans woman goes off their medication to bulk up in the offseason, only to resume taking their medication as the competition season comes into view? 

Loopholes like that are why he believes it’s only a matter of time before some 7-foot man decides to transition to the college’s women’s basketball team. 

“I don’t think it’s in jest; it’s inevitable,” Salo said, mentioning how pervasive pro-transgender messaging is in our communication media. For example, he pointed out Adidas’ new commercial where it spotlights Brazilian trans woman Tiffany Abreu, who plays in Brazil’s professional volleyball league, Superliga. 

“Do we want a Lia Thomas-like situation to happen in women’s basketball?” he continued. “That’s scary. Swimming, you’ve got your own lane. It’s like the camel under the tent — you’ve got your nose in there, and now it can explode into other sports.”

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Matthew Delaney


Matthew Delaney is a local journalist based in Washington, D.C. When he’s not questioning why he joined the media, he’s doing his part to restore some of its credibility with quality work

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