Riley Gaines calls out tennis stars over silence in trans sports debate: 'Scared of this cancel culture'

Former NCAA swimmer publicly puts pressure on Serena, Venus Williams to address how they ‘feel about males competing against women’

Two days after NCAA All-American and former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines tweeted for prominent women athletes to speak on the transgender sports debate, the swimmer has perceived the silence is in fear of "cancel culture."

"Women are depending, girls are depending on these women with platforms and with influence to take a stance on this, so changes can ultimately be made," Gaines told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Thursday.

On Monday, Gaines originally indicated on Twitter that she would be tagging "well-known female athletes" for each day this week, stating "silence is complicity" on the issue of biological males competing in women’s sports.

First up: tennis sisters Serena and Venus Williams. Though they haven’t responded yet, Gaines noted she wants them to feel "pressured to take a stand" against the potential physical advantages biological men have against women.


"I could understand last year, around this time before the Lia Thomas incident really brought this to prominence, I can understand they have sponsorships, that they're scared of this cancel culture," Gaines said on "Varney & Co." "But now a year past that incident, I don't have sympathy for that anymore."

Riley Gaines on Williams sisters debate

Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, inset, claims Serena and Venus Williams are likely silent on biological men competing in women’s sports due to being "scared of this cancel culture." (Fox News)

In 2013, Serena Williams, considered one of the best female tennis players of all time, told David Letterman that she preferred to play against women.

"The men are a lot faster, they serve harder, they hit harder," she said. "It's a completely different game."

"If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose, 6-0, 6-0, in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes," Willliams said of the top British tennis star at the time.

"They have come out before and they have acknowledged the differences between men and women, especially when it comes to tennis," Gaines said Thursday. "And I think it's worth noting that both Venus and Serena Williams lost in a blowout to the 203rd-ranked male tennis player."

Transgender athletes that have proven successful in women’s sports include CeCé Telfer, who became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA title in the Division II Track and Field 400-meter hurdle in 2019; swimmer Lia Thomas, who won the 500-yard freestyle at the 2022 NCAA championship; and trans cyclist Austin Killips, who just last week placed first for the Tour of Gila, competing in the women’s category.


"I think this will get worse before it gets better," Gaines recently told Fox News Digital. "How many girls have to be injured playing against a male, how many girls have to lose out on scholarships and trophies and titles? How many girls have to feel violated in the locker room?"

As of Thursday afternoon, Serena and Venus Williams’ media teams did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.


Fox News’ Kassy Dillon contributed to this report.