Speaking to CNN, Olympian Michael Phelps refused to make a definitive statement one way or another on the issue of biological men competing in women’s sports, saying that the issue is “complicated” and that the Olympics must ensure that whatever rules they do decide on create a “level playing field.”
During the interview, Phelps was asked about the issue presented by Lia Thomas, the transgender swimmer at U Penn that dominated women’s swimming this season until defeated by another transgender swimmer.
When asked about that situation by CNN host Christiane Amanpour, Phelps said “I can talk from the standpoint of doping. I don’t think I’ve competed in a clean field in my entire career. So, I think this leads back to the Organising Committees again because it has to be a level playing field. I think that’s something that we all need.”
Continuing, he added “I don’t know where this is going to go. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I believe that we all should feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin. But I think sports should all be played on an even playing field.”
Then, finishing his statement while trying not to say anything particularly definitive, Phelps said “I don’t know what that looks like in the future. But it’s hard. It’s very complicated. This is my sport. This has been my sport my whole entire career. Honestly, the one thing I would love is everybody to be able to compete on an even playing field. That’s all I can say.”
Watch the interview here:
Reacting to ongoing debate over trans college athlete Lia Thomas competing on the women’s swimming team, “it’s very complicated,” says @MichaelPhelps. “We all should feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin. But I think sports should be played on an even playing field.” pic.twitter.com/brsq7t2vJW
— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) January 13, 2022
Though that’s not as strong of a statement as many on the right would like, it is a positive sign that one of the greatest, highest-profile athletes isn’t willing to roundly endorse a major issue pushed by the left; if he won’t perhaps others will start speaking out too.
Further, his repeated comments about an “even playing field,” a phrase he continually returned to, hint that he might not be comfortable with or supportive of the status quo, where men that identify as women can enter and dominate competitions because of their strength rather than skill.
As that’s not “an even playing field” by any stretch of the imagination, it’s likely that Phelps is against it, even if he wasn’t fully willing to openly say it.
Another hint that he’s against the status quo is his evasiveness itself; Mr. Phelps has huge sponsorships that he could lose if he pisses off the woke mob, something he was certainly keeping in mind during the interview.
While there would have been no financial cost for him to go with the regime position and support the issue wholeheartedly, the general wokeness of America’s corporations means that were he to go with the conservative position, he would likely lose his current sponsors and have trouble finding new ones.
So, because he didn’t speak definitively in favor of the issue and spoke about the need for an even playing field, something which doesn’t currently exist, it’s probably fair to assume he doesn’t fall on the leftist side of this argument.