The mother of a California track and field athlete who lost to a transgender athlete, a biological male, during a recent meet described watching the female athletes compete against the male athlete as “heartbreaking” during an interview with the Daily Caller.
The trans athlete, Athena Ryan, placed second in the 1600-meter race during the CIF-North Coast Section Meet of Champions on Saturday, knocking the fourth-place, biological female, finisher out of state championships slot.
The mother of one of the runners described the situation as unfair, saying, “It’s heartbreaking to see what happens to these kids and how scared they are to even show the slightest bit of body language that might indicate that they aren’t happy with it. They’re, like, forced to celebrate it.”
The mom, commenting on Ryan’s passing numerous girls at the tail-end of the race to come in second, said, “Women cannot access that thing that he did at the end … he just blows by everybody. It’s like the girls are standing still. You almost think that, like, ‘wow, is he actually holding back?,’ A male in cross country, he finished 63rd and he is now competing with the top athletes in the nation. It’s a joke.”
Rebecca Brutlag, CIF media relations officer, speaking on the issue to the Daily Caller, said, “California law permits students to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records. Additionally, in accordance with California law, CIF Bylaw 300. D. provides that students should have the opportunity to participate in CIF activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s records.”
🏃Trans-identifying male, Athena Ryan (Jr) took 2nd today in the “Girls 1600m” at a CA State Championship qualifier meet in Dublin, CA.
Ryan beamed while 4th place senior, Adeline Johnson gave a thumb down after losing the chance to advance to the State Championships by 1 spot. pic.twitter.com/iY2InxvhJt
— ICONS (@icons_women) May 21, 2023
This isn’t the first time a parent commented on the incident. Speaking to Fox News Digital about the incident, a parent said, “I’m absolutely opposed to it. There’s no way this should be allowed. Ryan was in like fifth place with 100 to go, and all of a sudden he… blew past the girls. How do you not understand that that’s unfair? I 100% percent empathize with the need to belong and the desire to compete. [However,] you have to understand how hard these girls work to do this.”
The parent also said that the girls were pressured to keep quiet and not speak out about the situation, saying, “The student athletes’ reactions are very tempered and controlled as much as they can because they’re not allowed to show any reaction whatsoever to potentially not affirm what is happening. We’ve been advised that anything that potentially can come off as bullying is a code of conduct violation. And so by CIF rules [the girls are] unable to speak out about this.”
The parent added that the daughter is just trying to focus on the sport, saying, “Oh, at this point in time, because we’re in the heart of her championship season… I don’t want anything to distract her from this. If you let any energy zap you, if you commit any time or any emotion to this it is going to kill you.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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