Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis picked up the endorsement of one of the top advocates for women’s sports on Thursday and will campaign with her on Friday.
All-American swimmer Riley Gaines endorsed Mr. DeSantis for president in an appearance on Eric Bolling’s Newsmax show “The Balance.”
“I’m so excited to announce that I am officially endorsing Gov. DeSantis as president,” Ms. Gaines said.
Ms. Gaines, a 5-time SEC champion at the University of Kentucky, praised Mr. DeSantis’ acts on women’s sports and other issues as “crucial in rooting out the radical ideology that’s really driving this insanity, and really bringing visibility to these cultural issues that affect the breakdown of families, the breakdown of faith, the breakdown of freedom.”
In a press release Thursday evening, the DeSantis campaign noted that he had signed in June 2021 one of the first state laws to specify that female sports were reserved for biological females at birth.
It also noted that in March 2022, he had “issued a proclamation declaring Florida-born Emma Weyant as the winner of the women’s 500-yard (457-meter) freestyle at the NCAA women’s tournament, rather than transgender athlete Lia Thomas.”
Ms. Gaines said in her Newsmax appearance that she will appear with Mr. DeSantis in Greenville, South Carolina, on Friday evening to highlight the issue of women’s sports and the participation of biological males in them.
“He’s really taken on this political establishment, the woke corporations, the media, and he’s won and we know this based off his success in Florida alone,” she said of the Florida governor.
The DeSantis endorsement is “based off my own experience in being forced to compete and change in the locker room with a male,” said Ms. Gaines, who was defeated at the 2022 NCAA women’s swimming championships by Ms. Thomas.
Ms. Thomas became the first male-born athlete to win an NCAA Division 1 women’s sports title after having been on the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s team for three years without much success.
Source : The Washington Times