Weyant acknowledged Thomas' win by shaking her hand in the water. While conservatives argue that transgender women's physical differences give them an unfair advantage in sports competitions, LGBTQ supporters say measures keeping them from participating in sports hurt all women.Thomas, who competes for the University of Pennsylvania, made history Thursday by becoming the first transgender NCAA champion in Division I.
She has been doing well in meets and breaking records since the season began, sparking both support and protest.In his letter, Ziegler referred to Thomas as a male and said he did not want those who are born female to get sidelined.
He also noted that Thomas "was no better ranked than 400th in male swimming" but "ended up swimming faster than every other girl last night.""As the father of 3 young girls—2 of which are playing sports—this is the hill I am willing to die on," he wrote. "Which is why I won't sit back and be silent as women watch their opportunity to compete and win in sports be eliminated."According to a report from the American Civil Liberties Union, when transgender female athletes cannot compete in women's sports it hurts all women because a standard is set for what is considered "too masculine" or "too good" to be a "real woman."The report notes that in Idaho, the ACLU represents two women, one transgender and one cisgender, who were both hurt by a state law aimed at transgender athletes.In an interview with WebMD, sports physicist Joanna Harper said that while on average transgender women have some advantages such as height, there are also disadvantages.