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

The following is an open letter and reflects the author’s views alone. For 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 piece, the women of the Princeton University swim team were reported to have “collective frustration” regarding Lia Thomas, a trans-female swimmer on the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team. Princeton’s team is reported to have met with the executive director of the Ivy League athletic conference and anonymous members of the Princeton swim team are quoted as saying that allowing Thomas to swim “undermine[s] a half-century fight for female equality in sport.”

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As current and former members of the Princeton swimming and diving team, we write this letter to clarify that the exclusionary and discriminatory viewpoints expressed by those swimmers do not speak for our entire community. We hope this letter serves to highlight our support for trans athletes, for their right to compete in all sports, and to assure their safety and security in and among the Princeton University athletic community.

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

Aurora Marsh (Lee) ’10

Brett Shiflett ’09

Charles Razook ’09

Christopher Breen ’08

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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 article from The New York Times originally appeared in print with the headline: “Much Debate but Little Dialogue on Transgender Female Athletes.”

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