Republican candidates running for Congress in battleground districts expressed sympathy for Reka Gyorgy, the Virginia Tech swimmer who spoke out after she missed out on competing in the NCAA Championships due to transgender swimmer Lia Thomas' inclusion, and condemned the NCAA rule allowing male-to-female transgender swimmers like Thomas to compete against women.
"Reka Gyorgy has every right to be upset," James Rodgers, a former high school football coach and a GOP candidate for Texas' 30th Congressional District, told Fox News Digital. "What happened to her is outrageously unfair, and I truly feel for her. The rules intended to protect women in sports are now failing to do so, and athletes like Reka are feeling the consequences of this."
Rodgers also claimed that Emma Weyant, the former Olympic medalist whom Thomas defeated in the 500-yard freestyle event last week, should have won the race.
"I would also like to praise Emma Weyant, whose years of work and sacrifice should have reached their peak as the women’s 500 freestyle champion," the Republican said. "Instead, her tremendous athletic achievements were overshadowed and will ultimately be forgotten, sacrificed on the altar of tolerance by individuals who have made a mockery of Title IX."
"Tolerance and empathy should not and do not have to come by forcing women back into second-class status and second place finishes," Rodgers concluded.
"Female athletes are watching their hard work and lifelong dreams being ripped away by biological males who aren’t talented enough to be competitive in male sports," Gina Ciarcia, a mother of five who is running for Congress in Virginia's 7th Congressional District, told Fox News Digital. Ciarcia referred to the fact that Thomas, who competed as a male before competing against women, ranked No. 462 in men's swimming, according to Thomas' female teammates.
"We’re watching the death of women’s sports right before our eyes in the name of some misplaced sense of equity," Ciarcia added. She noted that two of her five kids are 18-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. "My son is 100 pounds heavier than his twin sister; that weight is increased muscle mass and dense bone that only a man can develop."
"Stories like that of Lia Thomas are discouraging young women who dream of one day competing at the highest levels of athletics," the candidate said. "For the sake of our daughters I hope that athletic associations reverse course and keep transgender athletes out of women’s sports."
Steve Gray, a father of two athletic daughters who is running for Congress in New Jersey's 4th Congressional District, said Weyant, Gyorgy and others had been robbed of "rightful victories."
"My two daughters are both highly competitive athletes," Gray told Fox News Digital. "My oldest daughter has earned a full athletic scholarship to play Division I tennis. So I’m very familiar with the work these girls and women put in to compete at these high levels."
"Emma Weyant, Reka Gyorgy and all of the collegiate swimmers that had to compete against Lia Thomas— these girls have dedicated hours to learning and mastering their sport, and now they’re being robbed of victories and robbed of rightful victories," Gray said. "It’s just shameful that politicians, the NCAA and others are more concerned with being politically correct than doing what’s right for our dedicated, biologically female athletes."