Moment Riley Gaines is abused by trans activists viewed 450,000 times (2024)

Footage of ex-college swimmer Riley Gaines being chased and verbally abused by protesters, who shut down a talk she had been due to give at San Francisco State University (SFSU), has been widely shared on social media.

Gaines alleges she was "physically hit twice by a man," with video posted on Twitter showing her being escorted to safety by police whilst demonstrators chant and heckle.

An intense debate has developed about the role of trans athletes in women's sport, with Republican-controlled states passing a wave of laws banning their participation.

Moment Riley Gaines is abused by trans activists viewed 450,000 times (1)

On Thursday Gaines had been due to address a Turning Point USA (TPUSA) event at SFSU, but this was unable to proceed after demonstrators gained access to the venue.

A video Gaines shared on Twitter, which appears to show her being escorted out of the venue whilst protesters chant "trans rights are human rights," has been viewed more than 180,000 times.

Gaines commented: "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."

Another video of Gaines leaving the room, whilst being protected by police officers, was shared on Twitter by David Llamas, the "TPUSA College Field Representative for the Bay Area."

In this footage, demonstrators chant "trans women are women," whilst one protester shouts slurs at Gaines, labelling her a "b*****."

This footage, which was retweeted by Gaines, has received over 280,000 views.

Nancy Hogshead, CEO of the 'Champion Women,' campaign group, tweeted that "trans radicals punched Riley Gaines" who "is in police protection now." This post, which added "male violence is the bane of our existence," was also retweeted by Gaines.

In a statement sent to Fox News Digital, Eli Bremer, Gaines' agent, commented: "Instead of a thoughtful discussion tonight at SFSU, Riley was violently accosted, shouted at, physically assaulted, and barricaded in a room by protesters. It is stunning that in America in 2023, it is acceptable for biological male students to violently assault a woman for standing up for women's rights."

When approached by Newsweek, San Francisco State University sent over a statement from its University Police Department (UPD). It said: "We are conducting an ongoing investigation into the situation. There were no arrests related to the event.

"The disruption occurred after the conclusion of the event which made it necessary for UPD officers to move the event speaker from the room to a different, safe location."

Newsweek has contacted Turning Point USA and Riley Gaines for comment by email.

Gaines had previously competed against Lia Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania student who in March 2022 became the first trans woman to win the NCAA Division I women's 500-yard freestyle event.

Speaking to Fox News in December, Gaines accused Thomas of having "an utter disregard and disrespect towards women."

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Thomas insisted trans athletes aren't a threat to women's sport, during an interview with ESPN in May 2022.

She commented: "Trans women competing in women's sports does not threaten women's sports as a whole.

"The NCAA rules regarding trans women competing in women's sports have been around for 10-plus years. And we haven't seen any massive wave of trans women dominating."

In August Gaines appeared alongside former President Donald Trump at a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event in Dallas.

Update 4/8/23 4:00 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with a response from San Francisco State University.

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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Moment Riley Gaines is abused by trans activists viewed 450,000 times (2024)
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