Riley Gaines criticizes trans swimmer Meghan Cortez-Fields for setting new collegiate record in NJ after transferring from men’s to women’s team

Riley Gaines continues to trend on social media due to her latest critique on trans swimmer Meghan Cortez-Fields setting record in women's swimming competition.

Riley Gaines criticizes trans swimmer Meghan Cortez-Fields for setting new collegiate record in NJ after transferring from men’s to women’s team

Riley Gaines and Meghan Cortez-Fields [Image Credit AllSides and Daily Mail]

At a liberal arts college in New Jersey, a trans female athlete, Meghan Cortez-Fields, remarkably surpassed the college’s record in the 100-yard butterfly event. After transitioning from the male squad, clocking in at 57.22 seconds to secure the leading position. Although initially receiving accolades from the institution via social media for her Saturday triumph, the recognition was retracted amidst a wave of critique spearheaded by former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines.

At the Cougar Splash Invitational, Cortez-Fields took home first place in the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley. And she grabbed second place in the 200-yard butterfly. The event took place in Dallas, Pennsylvania, and had teams from six different schools compete over two days.


Gaines, speaking on behalf of the Independent Women’s Forum, mentioned that Cortez-Fields evolved from being an average male swimmer to a highly skilled competitor in women’s swimming. Gaines articulated, in dialogue with a news channel. Her sentiments that turning a blind eye to males transitioning and outperforming in female sports equates to either incompetence or misogyny—a polarization with no middle ground.

She denounced the integration of trans athletes into female teams, asserting it deprives cisgender women of opportunities, privacy, and security. In addition, Gaines brought attention to a tattoo on Cortez-Field’s body. The image depicted a woman with masculine features in the nude, indicating a provocative and sexualized intention. As a Christian, she perceives it as a means of showing disrespect towards the creation of humans by God.

Meghan Cortez-Fields competed in men’s event before switching to women’s roster

Upon her transition, Cortez-Fields experienced the discomfort and demeaning nature of swimming shirtless in the men’s division, opting to use chest taping as a solution before joining the women’s team. Originally from College Station, Texas, Cortez-Fields used to be a part of Ramapo’s men’s team for three seasons before switching to the women’s team. The first transgender athlete at Ramapo College is a member of the Chemistry Department.

Meghan Cortez-Fields
Meghan Cortez-Fields [Image Credit- Daily Mail]

She looks up to Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer, as an inspiration. Thomas has been receiving criticism for participating and succeeding in women’s swimming competitions, having previously been part of the men’s team at Penn. Thomas used to be on the men’s team at Penn before. She made history in March 2022 as the first transgender athlete to win the NCAA Division I swimming title in the women’s 500-yard freestyle event.

In sympathy with Thomas’ experiences, the athlete from Ramapo expressed to The Ramapo News their trepidations about succeeding in sports. This is due to the fear of facing a similar backlash. Having demonstrated prowess in the current season, this Ramapo athlete has emerged victorious in at least one race in three out of four events.

Notably edging out competitor Jennifer Scott in the 100-yard butterfly by a narrow margin of 2.59 seconds. A representative from Ramapo reiterated the college’s adherence to the NCAA’s guidelines for transgender student-athlete participation. They were confirming the athlete’s compliance with the criteria to compete in the women’s swim team.


Moreover, the institution voiced its commitment to supporting all of its students. They condemned the spread of threatening messages and false information on social media platforms. This has affected not just the student-athlete but also her fellow team members and peers.

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