Record-Breaking Victory For Trans Swimmer Sparks Debate

A transgender swimmer at Ramapo College of New Jersey broke her school’s female category record at the Cougar Splash Invitational, held in Dallas, Pennsylvania. Competing for the women’s team, Meghan Cortez-Fields clinched first place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.22 seconds, leaving her mark in the college’s history books.

She also claimed first place in the 200-yard individual medley and finished second in the 200-yard butterfly. The Ramapo swim team initially celebrated Cortez-Fields’ achievement on Instagram in an Instagram post. However, beneath the cheers of victory lies a heated debate about fairness in sports.

Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, an ambassador for the Independent Women’s Forum, ignited the debate by highlighting Cortez-Fields’ achievements and arguing that allowing male athletes to compete in women’s sports is unjust.

In a tweet that drew attention to the issue, she wrote, “Ramapo College swimmer in NJ goes from less than mediocre male swimmer to a record smasher competing against the women. Hm, where have we seen this before? #SaveWomensSports.”

“Those who choose to remain blind to the injustice of allowing mediocre male athletes to become record-breaking female athletes are either incompetent or misogynists. There is no in between anymore,” she told Fox News.

Gaines also expressed concerns about the broader implications of this issue, saying, “Women are being asked to smile and step aside and allow these men onto our teams, all the while stripping us of opportunities, privacy, and safety.”

The former swimmer also pointed to a tattoo on Cortez-Fields’ body, depicting a nude woman with male genitalia. She labeled it as evidence of a ‘fetishized and sexualized movement’ and expressed her belief that such depictions are a mockery of Christian values.

After Gaines’ tweet drew backlash to the swim team’s congratulatory post on X, the team took down the post. However, Ramapo College defended its support for all student-athletes, with a spokesperson for the school claiming that the original post celebrating Cortez-Fields’ win was deleted by a peer to protect her from insulting comments.

“The College continues to post team and individual student-athlete achievements for all programs on our Athletics website,” the spokesperson said.

Cortez-Fields, who has won at least one heat in three of the four women’s meets so far this year, was a swimmer on the college’s male team for three years until she moved to the female team this season. Her switch is not surprising given that she revealed that she found inspiration in University of Pennsylvania trans swimmer Lia Thomas, who has been largely criticized for creating a disadvantageous situation for biological female competitors.

Speaking to Ramapo News, Cortez-Fields said, “Thomas is an inspiration to me in that way, but also I felt so bad for her because I know exactly what she was going through. Even going into this season, I had a fear of succeeding because I don’t want what happened to her to happen to me.”