Former Olympian Inga Thompson sounds off on women’s group after controversial ‘white supremacist’ accusations

April 4, 2024
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Three-time Olympic cyclist Inga Thompson is sounding off on the National Organization for Women (NOW) after the group slammed a recent lawsuit filed against the NCAA by more than a dozen college athletes as an example of “white supremacist patriarchy at work.”

Thompson, a decorated U.S. cyclist who competed at the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Games, spoke to Fox News Digital about the controversial social media post shared to X over the weekend. 

Inga Thompson raises her hands

Inga Thompson Bennett in August 1986 (Duane Howell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

In the post, NOW criticized a lawsuit filed last month by former Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines and several other college athletes who accused the NCAA of violating their Title IX rights by allowing former University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a transgender woman, to compete at the national championships in 2022. 

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“Repeat after us: Weaponizing womenhood against other women is white supremacist patriarchy at work,” the post read. “Making people believe there isn’t enough space for trans women in sports is white supremacist patriarchy at work.”

But Thompson disagrees. 

“They’re all attempts at silencing women by throwing these accusations out there,” she said of the language used in NOW’s post. “When you get to the root cause of this, we are none of that. We are none of that. It is simply women asking for our sex-separated rights.”

Transgender flag

A person holds a transgender pride flag as people gather on Christopher Street outside the Stonewall Inn for a rally to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, June 28, 2019. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2022, Thomas would go on to become the first openly transgender athlete to win a Division I title in any sport after taking first in the 500-yard freestyle. Thomas would also tie with Gaines for fifth in the 200-yard final, although Gaines would not be awarded the trophy. 

“It goes deeper than just the medals,” Thompson argued. “It’s taken away opportunities for women. And we still don’t have 50% of the opportunities out there. Men still have far more opportunities in sports than women do. And so the few opportunities that we have, they want those too.” 

OPPOSING TRANS ATHLETES IN GIRLS’ SPORTS IS ‘WHITE SUPREMACIST PATRIARCHY:’ NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN

The lawsuit, which named the NCAA, University System of Georgia, Georgia Tech University, University of Georgia, University of North Georgia and members of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia as defendants, detailed several accusations of Title IX violations, including Thomas’ ability to use the women’s locker room. 

“… The NCAA has simultaneously imposed a radical anti-woman agenda on college sports, reinterpreting Title IX to define women as a testosterone level, permitting men to compete on women’s teams,” the complaint says, “and destroying female safe spaces in women’s locker rooms by authorizing naked men possessing full male genitalia to disrobe in front of non-consenting college women and creating situations in which unwilling female college athletes unwittingly or reluctantly expose their naked or partially clad bodies to males, subjecting women to a loss of their constitutional right to bodily privacy.”

NCAA Nationals podium with Lia Thomas

Lia Thomas, left, of the University of Pennsylvania stands on the podium after winning the 500-yard freestyle as other medalists, from left, Emma Weyant, Erica Sullivan and Brooke Forde pose for a photo at the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championshipon March 17, 2022, in Atlanta. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

After coming under fire during Thomas’ emergence in the women’s categories, the NCAA announced that it was adopting a sport-by-sport policy on transgender athlete participation in order to align itself with the “Olympic movement.” 

But there lies the issue, Thompson argues. 

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The International Olympic Committee announced a new framework recommendation policy in November 2021 that gave individual sports governing bodies the ability to create their own policies based on the IOC’s 10-principle approach. Critics, like Thompson, argued that the updated policy focused more on inclusion than science-backed research. 

“They basically said that inclusion was more important than fairness, and they made their decision based on inclusion being more important than fairness to women,” she said. “I think everybody looks from leadership at the top with the IOC. But the IOC has proven that they’re not showing leadership as far as the safety and protecting of women in sports.” 

Inga Thompson podium

From left, Jeannie Longo (second place), Valerie Simmonet (first) and Inga Thompson (third) celebrate on the podium following the Vail Criterium stage of the Coors International Bicycle Classic on Aug. 11, 1985, in Vail, Colorado. (David Madison/Getty Images)

Thompson believes the current climate surrounding women’s sports isn’t good, but she remains hopeful. 

“We need to be able to discuss biological reality, and we need to be able to have truth, and words need to have a meaning. And they’re trying to take the word woman away from us.” 

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and Lindsay Kornick, and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X, and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.





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