Soccer player at center of West Virginia transgender sports fight 'incensed' over Riley Gaines attack

Soccer player at center of West Virginia transgender sports fight 'incensed' over Riley Gaines attack
By: Transgender Posted On: April 13, 2023 View: 268

Soccer player at center of West Virginia transgender sports fight 'incensed' over Riley Gaines attack

EXCLUSIVE — A former soccer player at the center of a fight to protect West Virginia 's law defending fairness in women's sports felt "incensed" after a mob of transgender protesters "brutally attacked" former swimmer Riley Gaines .

Former championship-winning West Virginia State University soccer player Lainey Armistead and her counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom are suing to protect the state's Save Women's Sports Act in court, which aims to prevent biologically male students who identify as transgender women from playing on female school sports teams.


NCAA Convention

Former West Virginia State University soccer player Lainey Armistead speaks during a rally on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, outside of the NCAA Convention in San Antonio.

Darren Abate/AP

When asked about the recent violent protest at Gaines's San Francisco State University speech this week, which was in reaction to her objections to biological men competing in women's sports, Armistead told the Washington Examiner the reaction was both disturbing yet encouraging.

"I think that I was really disturbed by that but also encouraged because I saw how much support that Riley got throughout the whole thing. And I think that people are realizing that it's just shocking whenever a woman is brutally attacked and forced into a closet for three hours because she's speaking out for her rights to compete, and other women want to fight for that," Armistead said.

Gaines, who tweeted she was "ambushed and physically hit twice by a man" over the weekend, rose to fame for objecting to Lia Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer and a biological man who identifies as a transgender woman, competing against her in high-level swim competitions .

"This will not silence me," Gaines said of the mob protesting her speech. "When they want me to be silenced, it just means I need to speak louder."

Armistead, 23, also said the footage of Gaines made her "incensed," adding, "We want to fight, and we're ready to fight for our playing field."

She previously said she felt compelled to join ADF in the lawsuit when she found out the Save Women's Sports Act was being challenged in court.

Although the Supreme Court denied to take up the petition on April 6, Armistead's counsel vowed to "continue to fight" for women's rights to compete on a fair playing field, ADF legal counsel Rachel Csutoros told the Washington Examiner.

But through the Supreme Court's denial to take up the case, it allows biological men to play in women's sports while the lawsuit plays out in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas were the lone justices who wrote they would have allowed the state law to be enforced against the student.

Csutoros said ADF is filing new briefs to the 4th Circuit within a matter of weeks but said it could take several months before a panel on the court hears the case, noting, "We're going to go through the entire merits briefing."

"West Virginia's law ensures that it's consistent with Title Nine, and it is constitutional, and it's protecting women and girls and their ability to compete in sports," Csutoros said.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey backed the ADF's petition to protect the state's law and called the high court's denial a "procedural setback" despite maintaining confidence the case would succeed on the merits.


As many as 18 states have passed laws to protect female athletes from unfair competitors in their respective divisions, according to the Family Policy Alliance.

"I just think that with the state legislators continuing to create these laws, it shows how popular these laws are," Armistead said. "And we are very encouraged that these legislators are telling women that we matter and that we're important and that we don't just deserve equal opportunities in life, we also deserve them on the field."

Adblock test (Why?)

Read this on Transgender