Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) issued a proclamation Tuesday rejecting the victory of UPenn trans swimmer Lia Thomas in an NCAA women’s competition last week.
In a letter bearing the governor’s seal, DeSantis declared the state of Florida would not honor Thomas’ win as genuine, and would instead consider second-place finisher, University of Virginia student and former Tampa Bay-native Emma Weyant as the true champion of the NCAA Division 1 500-yard freestyle race.
“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,” tweeted DeSantis Tuesday.
“In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.”
During a press conference Tuesday, the governor defended Florida’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, saying, “Now the NCAA is basically taking efforts to destroy women’s athletics… They’re trying to undermine the integrity of the competition, and they’re crowning somebody else the woman’s champion.”
“We thought it was very important that young girls and women athletes in the state of Florida had the ability to work hard, to realize their dreams and to compete fairly whether it’s in swimming, whether it’s in track and field, you name it,” he added.
“And that’s something that was really meaningful to a lot of people in Florida, particularly people like me who are parents of young girls.”
See the governor’s full letter below:
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