College swimming champion Riley Gaines says she plans to take legal action after San Francisco State University praised students for ‘peaceful’ protest at an event where she claims she was assaulted and held for ransom.
Gaines, 23, says she was forced to barricade herself inside a room for around three hours at the campus Thursday night after a group of activists ambushed her, in an alleged assault she called ‘violent, completely wrong and criminal.’
She was giving a speech to students about competing against Lia Thomas, a transgender woman, at the Women’s NCAA Swimming Championships last year. It’s unclear what exactly set off the fracas but video shows students loudly drowning out Gaines’ speech about competing against ‘biological males’ in women’s sports.
In an email to students from Jamillah Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and reposted online, she alleges the school is ‘proud’ of the students who ‘participated peacefully’ and made it clear that the trans community is welcome at the school.
Gaines, speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, argued the event was ‘quite literally the exact opposite of peaceful’ and she plans to take legal action to hold the school, the students and campus police – who she described woefully unprepared – accountable.
‘I think that what you have to do to make changes in regards to protecting freedoms is to go where it hurts which is the pockets,’ she said. ‘If I weren’t to do something, there would be no repercussions for these people.’
‘Something needs to be done to hold these people accountable, whether it be the student body, the administration…they need to realize is that what happened to me was violent, was completely wrong and it was criminal,’ Gaines alleges. ‘They weren’t even peaceful in an alternate universe.’
Gaines told DailyMail.com accused her alleged assailant – who she says was a transgender woman and her boyfriend said was ‘a guy in a dress’ – of hitting her first in the shoulder and then in the face before an undercover campus cop came to her rescue.
The swimmer stated she was blocked in a room at San Francisco State University for three hours to defend herself from the ‘vengeful’ mob who were demanding they be let in to ‘fight’ her. San Francisco police said there were no arrests.
Gaines also alleged that the protesters ‘demanded money’ in return for her freedom, which she views as being held for ransom, a federal offense.
She said that she’s dealt with campus police all over the country at speaking engagements and that they are usually qualified but said that she started to feel something was wrong at San Francisco State when, she claims, police passed up on a meeting 90 minutes prior to her speech.
Gaines is of the belief that a fear of being blamed by the woke mob of having done something untoward to one of the students is what led to her situation.
‘What I noticed about these police to what they actually admitted to was they didn’t feel comfortable asserting themselves in a way that would make them seem as if they were in a position where they could be accused of racism or transphobia,’ she claimed.
‘They were terrified which resulted in them not doing their job correctly,’ she alleges. ‘I have been to many other campuses where I have spoken about this same topic and campus police did a phenomenal job.’
‘They could have found me and talked to me,’ she said. ‘They never said anything.’
The only excuse she says she has been given as to why there was no plan in place is that they thought ‘someone else had communicated it on our behalf.’
Gaines says that San Francisco State University police have reached out to her to set up a meeting in an effort to explain what happened, but she says no one else from San Francisco State, aside from a friend who attends the school, has contacted her.
‘These people and the administration and the campus police, truthfully, deserve to have repercussions.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to San Francisco State University for comment.
In her email to students after the incident, Jamillah Moore said: ‘Thank you to our students who participated peacefully in Thursday evening’s event. It took tremendous bravery to stand in a challenging space.
‘I am proud of the moments where we listened and asked insightful questions, I am also proud of the moments when our students demonstrated the value of free speech and the right to protest peacefully.
‘These issues do not go away, and these values are very much at our core.
‘This feels difficult because it is difficult. As you reflect, process, and begin to heal, please remember that there are people, resources and services available and ready to receive our Gator community, including faculty, staff members, coaches and mentors who are here to support you.’
Gaines said the talk itself, which started at around 7.30pm, was ‘really awesome’, with 75 attendees politely sharing differing views on transgender athletes in sport.
But as she was exiting the room where the talk was being held she was ambushed by angry trans activists, who hurried into the venue from the hallway outside.
‘All of a sudden ambushers swarm in, tons of them,’ she said. ‘They immediately rush to the front of the room where I am, so I’m kind of cornered at a podium at this point.
‘They’re screaming in my face. This is the point where I was struck twice…I believe, aiming for my shoulder both times, but hit me the first time on the shoulder, and then the second time it grazed my face.’
Gaines said she thought she was hit with a closed fist by the transgender woman, before exhibiting the upward punching motion that was used.
‘I’m not entirely sure if it [her first] was closed or open, but it was 100 per cent intentional,’ she added.
The swimmer said she was then whisked away by an undercover campus cop, but was met by ‘an even bigger crowd’ of protesters coming from both directions.
‘Because there was no clear exit out of this hallway we were kind of forced into a side room…where we essentially had to lock ourselves in for three hours,’ she said.
Gaines said the protesters remained outside the room for the duration, ‘screaming and yelling vulgar and violent things’.
I stand with @Riley_Gaines_ and every woman, should be fighting for this too.
Denying the biological differences between men and women not only threaten women's rights, it threatens our safety.
RT if you stand with Riley Gaines too. pic.twitter.com/WrqPw4t9Ov
— ＭＡＧＡ ＢＡＲＢＩＥ (@FLMagaBarbie) April 9, 2023
The woman who released the statement following the riot where I was verbally and physically assaulted at @SFSU (to which she called peaceful) blocked me.
I guess it's easier for her to ignore me than to denounce violence against women. She won't be able to ignore my lawsuit? pic.twitter.com/4RHsYsTNCw
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) April 9, 2023
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