Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has overruled the NCAA and announced that Florida will recognize runner-up UVA swimmer Emma Weyant “as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.”
At a news conference Tuesday, Gov. DeSantis said he would issue a proclamation making Weyant the winner of the NCAA 500-yard freestyle.
Weyant made headlines after she came second in the national women’s championships behind biological male transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.
“She’s been an absolute superstar her whole career, to compete at that level is very difficult,” DeSantis said.
“You don’t just roll out of bed and do it.
“That takes grit, that takes determination, and she had the fastest time of any woman in college athletics.
“If the NCAA was willing to ensure the integrity of women’s competition, she would have been crowned national champion.
“She earned that. We need to honor that appropriately.
“If you look at what the NCAA has done in allowing basically men to compete in women’s athletics, and in this case swimming you had the number one woman who finished was from Sarasota, Emma Weyant.
“She won the silver medal, she’s been an absolute superstar her whole career.”
DeSantis said on Twitter:
“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.”
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
JUST NOW: @GovRonDeSantis says he will sign a “proclamation” naming @UVA and @USASwimming Olympian @emmaweyant the “best female swimmer” of the women’s 500-yard freestyle.
DeSantis said the @NCAA is “perpetuating fraud” & “trying to undermine the integrity of the competition” pic.twitter.com/wt6I058ILp
— Evan Donovan (@EvanDonovan) March 22, 2022
According to WLFA:
“Lia Thomas made history as the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division One championship. DeSantis believes that transgender women should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports.
“Thomas beat Weyant by 1.75 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle event. It was Weyant’s fastest career time and the third-fastest time in University of Virginia history according to the university.
“Thomas has been at the center of controversy since her transition in 2019. She was on the University of Pennsylvania men’s swimming prior to this season. Thomas has followed the NCAA rules since starting hormone replacement therapy.”