An open letter from members of the Princeton Swimming and Diving community on Lia Thomas’ right to swim

The following is an open letter and reflects the views of the author only. For more information on how to submit to the Opinion section, click here.

On Sunday, May 29, 2022, The New York Times published the following article: “What Lia Thomas Could Mean for Women’s Elite Sports”. In the article, the women of the Princeton University swim team reportedly have “collective frustration” over Lia Thomas, a trans swimmer on the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team. The Princeton team reportedly met with the executive director of the Ivy League athletic conference and unnamed members of the Princeton swim team reportedly said allowing Thomas to swim “undermines[s] a half-century fight for equality for women in sport.

As current and former members of the Princeton Swimming and Diving team, we are writing this letter to clarify that the exclusive and discriminatory views expressed by these swimmers do not speak for our entire community. We hope this letter serves to underscore our support for trans athletes, their right to compete in all sports, and to ensure their safety in and among the Princeton University athletic community.

Our time at Princeton University taught us to be critical thinkers, to engage in discourse, and to conduct ourselves “in service to the nation and in service to humanity.” We extend this to mean that we have a moral responsibility to serve everyone and hope our fellow athletes recognize this important responsibility as fellow stewards of the Princeton motto.

Aurora Marsh (Lee) ’10

Brett Shiflett ’09

Charles Razook ’09

Christopher Breen ’08

Griffin Maxwell Brooks ’23

Joelle Milov ’09

Kasey Morris ’14

Lauren Shanley ’12

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Meir Hasbani ’07

Nicole McAndrew ’11

Yarden Fraiman ’09

Editor’s Note: The referenced New York Times article originally appeared in print with the headline: “Much Debate But Little Dialogue About Transgender Female Athletes.”

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