This comes as previous articles published by Media Matters have resurfaced following the news.
One such target is Riley Gaines, a spokeswoman for Save Women's Sports and a women's swimming champion. Gaines, a prominent conservative figure, has been a frequent subject of Media Matters' coverage due to her outspoken resistance to cancel culture.
In a previous article, Media Matters alleged that Gaines had built a media career on the name of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, stating, "Over a year after her last race against Lia Thomas, Riley Gaines has built a media career on the trans swimmer’s name." The article went on to detail Gaines' numerous appearances on Fox News, noting that over half of these appearances occurred a year after her race against Thomas.
The author of the piece, Alyssa Tirrell, a researcher for Media Matters' LGBTQ Program, claimed that Gaines consistently engaged in anti-trans rhetoric under the guise of concern for the future of women's sports. According to Tirrell and Media Matters, women who have been outperformed in sports by transgender women need to "quiet down."
Gaines, however, refuted these allegations, arguing that it was Thomas who had capitalized on the achievements of female collegiate swimmers. In a tweet, she stated, "Media Matters says I built my name on Lia Thomas' back. No, @mmfa Lia Thomas made a name for himself on OUR backs. The backs of girls and women. I would happily go back to being a dentist tomorrow if this was all curbed, but I was taught to stand up to injustice when you see."
Gaines also highlighted that Thomas transitioned to the women's division after underperforming in the men's division. She pointed out the disparity in Thomas' rankings before and after the transition, arguing that it demonstrated the unfairness of the situation at the NCAA level.
In a pinned tweet at the top of her Twitter page, Gaines further criticized Thomas and the NCAA, stating, "Lia Thomas is not a brave, courageous woman who EARNED a national title. He is an arrogant, cheat who STOLE a national title from a hardworking, deserving woman. The @ncaa is responsible. If I was a woman working at ESPN, I would walk out. You're spineless @espn #boycottESPN."