OutKick founder Clay Travis scolded ESPN for ignoring an "absurd" story about a transgender swimmer who broke records in a women’s competition.

"This is absolute insanity," Travis told Tucker Carlson on Tuesday. 

Lia Thomas recently dominated a women’s competition at the Zippy Invitational at the University of Akron, including the 500-yard freestyle preliminaries and finals. She earned a winning time of 4:34.06 in the finals, which is a new Ivy League record.


"Every woman out there who competed as a swimmer or competed in women’s athletics at all, who gets up early in the morning, who puts in every ounce of their ability into their pursuit of swimming, every feminist, every Title IX advocate should be standing up and screaming from the heavens, this is unacceptable because men are bigger, stronger, and faster biologically than women," Travis said. "This is totally absurd."

University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas (Penn Athletics)

The story resurfaced Monday when the editor-in-chief of one of the most highly read swimming magazines argued that Thomas has the same advantages that "doping" provides other athletes. ESPN and other major sports outlets, however, have yet to cover the story widely. 

This is what happens "when two left-wing ideologies — identity politics collide," Travis said. 

"You have feminists and Title IX supporters on one side who support athletics, and you have the transgenders on the other side," he added. "You have to pick a side."

"People who cover sports media — they pretend it doesn’t exist," Travis said. "ESPN loves to cover every single conflict of sports and politics. They haven’t written a single story about this. It’s a sham. Not one. Every time someone doesn’t go to the White House to visit Trump, it’s the lead story on ESPN for five years. A biological man threatens to become the greatest women’s swimmer of all time? And they don’t even cover it."

The ESPN logo on an electronic display in Times Square in New York City.

The ESPN logo on an electronic display in Times Square in New York City.  (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

"ESPN used to be so impressive," Carlson said. "It was famous in the TV business for having the smartest producers, impressive people … and then their numbers tanked because they became liars."

Thomas is transgender and previously competed as a man at Penn for two full seasons, most recently in 2019. NCAA rules dictate that transgender players must partake in one year of testosterone suppression before they can compete as women.  


Thomas’ wins sparked parents at Penn to send a letter to the NCAA demanding a rule change for transgender athletes. The NCAA has reportedly not responded to the letter.

The organization did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.