SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Former Division 1 college swimmer Riley Gaines said she was verbally and physically attacked following a speech she made on behalf of Save Women’s Sports at San Francisco State University. Save Women’s Sports aims to bar trans women from competing in women’s sports and instead create a new division for where trans athletes would be allowed to compete and has been labeled as an anti-trans organization.
“I was ambushed and physically hit twice by a man,” Gaines tweeted. “This is proof that women need sex-protected spaces.”
Video posted to Twitter shows police escorting Gaines through a crowd yelling, “Trans rights are human rights.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy weighed in on Gaines’s tweet saying, “This is an appalling attack on free speech on a college campus.”
Former Olympic decathlete and trans TV personality Caitlyn Jenner also offered Gaines support against the “radical rainbow mafia” saying, “Never back down! Never give up! I am praying for you!” and condemning SFSU.
Several other Republican leaders also expressed outrage at the incident including the GOP’s official account.
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This incident comes amidst rising tension in the U.S. around trans rights and whether or not trans female athletes should be able to compete in the women’s division.
The Independent Women’s Forum, for which Gaines is a spokesperson, issued a statement condemning what it called an “assault” on Gaines.
Gaines Agent, Eli Bremer, also issued a statement on the incident, saying in part:
“Instead of a thoughtful discussion tonight at SFSU, Riley was violently accosted, shouted at, physically assaulted, and barricaded in a room by protestors. It is stunning that in America in 2023, it is acceptable for biological male students to violently assault a woman for standing up for women’s rights.”
“This will not stop Riley from boldly educating people of the dangers of biological males in women’s sports. She will continue to speak the truth against the radical left that no longer understands the difference between men and women.”
KRON4 reached out to representatives of SFSU about the incident and received the following comment:
“We are conducting an ongoing investigation into the situation. There were no arrests related to the event. The disruption occurred after the conclusion of the event which made it necessary for UPD officers to move the event speaker from the room to a different, safe location.”
On Saturday, SFSU sent the following statement out to their campus community, saying in part:
“Today, San Francisco State finds itself again at the center of a national discussion regarding freedom of speech and expression. Let me begin by saying clearly: the trans community is welcome and belongs at San Francisco State University. Further, our community fiercely believes in unity, connection, care and compassion, and we value different ideas, even when they are not our own….Thank you to our students who participated peacefully in Thursday evening’s event. It took tremendous bravery to stand in a challenging space. I am proud of the moments where we listened and asked insightful questions. I am also proud of the moments when our students demonstrated the value of free speech and the right to protest peacefully. These issues do not go away, and these values are very much at our core.”