On Thursday night, former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines was physically assaulted following a speech about saving women’s sports at San Francisco State University.
Gaines had given a speech to students at a Turning Point USA and Leadership Institute event on the campus. Following the speech, she was physically assaulted and was barricaded in a room on the third floor of a university building for nearly three hours.
Gaines’ husband, Louis Barker, said that she had spoken to him briefly while she was barricaded in the room. He said she had told him that she had been hit multiple times by a man wearing a dress.
In a tweet, Gaines shared footage she had taken of herself being rushed out of the venue by police officers amid an onslaught of verbal attacks from the detractors who surrounded her. She wrote that the “prisoners are running the asylum at SFSU” and that she had been “ambushed and physically hit twice by a man.”
Gaines had been speaking to students about her experience competing against a biological male athlete, Lia Thomas, at the Women’s NCAA Swimming Championships last year.
Gaines’ agent, Eli Bremer, released a statement saying that instead of a thoughtful discussion, Gaines had been “violently accosted, shouted at, physically assaulted, and barricaded in a room by protestors.”
The protests at the event had been organized by the university’s Queer and Trans Resource Center. Footage from the event showed the swimmer’s remarks being drowned out by a group of pro-trans protesters who had become increasingly loud outside the room.
Protesters were captured on video chanting various phrases along the lines of “go the f–k home” and “trans women are women” while placing transgender flags on the school’s walls.
Chris Trudell, the assistant dean of students, was reportedly seen trying to de-escalate the situation. In the end, Gaines was moved to a safer location and escorted out of the venue by police.
The prisoners are running the asylum at SFSU…I was ambushed and physically hit twice by a man. This is proof that women need sex-protected spaces.
Still only further assures me I’m doing something right. When they want you silent, speak louder. 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/uJW3x9RERf
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) April 7, 2023