Former NBA player Stephen Jackson went off on the trans swimmer Lia Thomas after she won the NCAA title in the swimming competition for women.
Jackson thinks it's unfair to other women
After his NBA career ended, Stephen Jackson remained in the spotlight, having his own podcast with another former NBA player Matt Barnes called Showtime Basketball. Jackson was extremely vocal about NBA-related topics and things that are not necessarily related to basketball or sports, primarily focusing on social and racial injustice in the US.
This time Jackson got triggered after a trans swimmer Lia Thomas won the NCAA swimming championship, competing against women. Thomas was previously a man called Will that attended the University of Pennsylvania. Thomas decided to change his sex in 2019 and, in 2020, started competing against other women in swimming competitions under the new name Lia.
Jackson said it's utterly unfair to all women out there who are working hard every day to achieve their goals in sports, only to be undermined by someone who is cheating the system. According to Jackson, all the sacrifices these women make to be great at their respective sports are in vain because they have unfair competition.
"You got this white dude who is scared to compete against a man and knew he was not better than a man, so he got a sex change just so he can be at the top. And so he can be the best in the world, but he wasn't better than no man. We are not going to have our young women of all races work hard their whole life at a sport. Put all this time to be great, win a medal and be at the top, to be the best at their sport. All the work they put in to get to the top, and all of a sudden, they have to compete with a woman that had a sex change and is really a man."
The rules need to change
Jackson also called out all the people supporting this agenda, saying there is no way that someone who used to be a man but couldn't compete with other men decides to get a sex change and then dominate the women's competition.
"We have to say women's sports, and anybody that thinks this is fair, you are sick. If you are not good as a man, and you can't compete with a man, don't think you can just have a sex change and compete and beat women. That s**t ain't going to ride, yall are sick. "
Trans people competing in women's sports has been a hot topic for the past few years, and it's becoming more common. That raises a lot of questions on how to organize the competition if you have trans people competing, especially against other women, because it obviously isn't a fair playing field. NCAA rules allow athletes to change gender categories, but Thomas needed a year of HRT before she'd be eligible to compete against other women in championship events.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Thomas said she plans to compete as a woman in the future unless there are rule changes that would prohibit her from participating in swimming events against other women.
"I don't know exactly what the future of my swimming will look like after this year, but I would love to continue doing it," Thomas says. "I want to swim and compete as who I am."
There are many question marks on the future of her swimming career, and the same can be said for other trans athletes competing in other sports. However, numerous people are not supporting this for similar reasons as Jackson stated. It will be interesting to see how NCAA and other major leagues tackle this issue that is becoming more and more common in the world of professional athletes.