Riley Gaines, a former NCAA swimmer, found herself barricaded in a room at San Francisco State University on Thursday night, after she was physically assaulted by protesters. This happened following her speech about saving women’s sports at an event organized by Turning Point USA and Leadership Institute on the campus. Gaines rose to national prominence after raising objections to the participation of trans athlete Lia Thomas in women’s sports.
The prisoners are running the asylum at SFSU…I was ambushed and physically hit twice by a man. This is proof that women need sex-protected spaces.
Still only further assures me I'm doing something right. When they want you silent, speak louder. 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/uJW3x9RERf
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) April 7, 2023
According to Louis Barker, Riley’s husband, he had brief conversations with her while she was barricaded in the room for nearly three hours.
“She told me she was hit multiple times by a guy in a dress. I was shaking. It made me that mad. It makes me sick to feel so helpless about it,” Barker said. “She was under police protection and was still hit by a man wearing a dress.”
Gaines shared footage on Twitter that she took, showing police officers rushing her out of the venue amidst verbal attacks from the protesters who had surrounded her.
“The prisoners are running the asylum at SFSU…I was ambushed and physically hit twice by a man,” Gaines wrote in the tweet. “This is proof that women need sex-protected spaces. Still only further assures me I’m doing something right. When they want you silent, speak louder.”
While speaking to students about saving women’s sports, Gaines was faced with opposition from many who expressed differing viewpoints. Footage from the event also revealed that the swimmer’s remarks were drowned out by a group of pro-trans protesters who had become increasingly loud outside the room.