Florida governor Ron DeSantis put his transphobia on full display while challenging the results of last week’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) swimming championship women’s 500-yard freestyle event.
Trans athlete Lia Thomas narrowly beat Florida-native Emma Weyant, but not according to DeSantis.
In a proclamation that misgenders Thomas and has no bearing on the results, the governor declared Weyant, who previously won the silver medal at the 400m individual medley at the Tokyo Olympics, the “rightful winner” of the event.
“By allowing men to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud,” DeSantis tweeted along with the proclamation.
He continued: “In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.”
By allowing men to compete in women's sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud.
In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota's Emma Weyant as the best women's swimmer in the 500y freestyle. pic.twitter.com/tBmFxFE3q6
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 22, 2022
DeSantis’ position that transgender athletes being allowed to compete puts “ideology ahead of opportunity for women athletes” has no scientific basis, according to experts.
Many were quick to call out his transphobic comments for what they are:
Ron DeSantis is a transphobic POS. https://t.co/daIAedDeVo
— Matt Murphy (@MattMurph24) March 22, 2022
imaigine being so aggressively transphobic for no reason whatsoever that you issue an entire STATEMENT claiming that the “true winner” of the division 1 500-yard freestyle is the girl who won second place to Lia Thomas, just because Lia is trans. https://t.co/vheP4rUHXW
— May from Pokémon Emerald 🏳️⚧️🥁 (@Mayamar4760) March 22, 2022
Since when does ANY governor get to decide who wins NCAA competitions or other events?
Take a hike, DeSantis, you transphobic ass. https://t.co/1TsQ027shS
— Cathy Pegau📚🌈 Read The Demon Equilibrium out NOW (@CathyPegau) March 22, 2022
Now he’s going after trans people. 2020 was the deadliest year on record for violence against transgender people. This divisive, disgusting tweet is as dangerous as DeSantis’ miserable, misogynistic vote against the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act. #RemoveRon #VoteBlueFL https://t.co/O7dnt3pxdE
— Lesley Abravanel 🇺🇦 (@lesleyabravanel) March 22, 2022
So does this mean Floridians can declare the runner up in the last governor’s race the winner and force DeSantis to step down or is this just utter transphobic nonsense? https://t.co/OArK1Vh7P8
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) March 23, 2022
Last year, DeSantis signed legislation banning trans athletes from competing in women’s athletics in Florida high schools and colleges.
He’s also signaled support for the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which now sits on his desk awaiting signature after it was passed by the state senate earlier this month.