CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Female rights advocate and OutKick podcast host Riley Gaines has a simple message that she wants to deliver across the United States: Women’s sports are for women. The NCAA has a big problem on its hands, especially after allowing biological male Lia Thomas — who competed against Gaines — to dominate women’s swimming. On Thursday, Gaines came to Harvard University to deliver her message.

Before even coming to campus, Gaines faced constant hurdles throughout the process. Her presence is apparently so detestable that universities like Harvard — and their students — try to prevent her from even appearing in the first place. Free speech, amirite!? No wonder Harvard ranked last in a survey of 248 United States colleges and universities for free speech.

Initially, Gaines scheduled her event for mid-September. Out-of-nowhere, Harvard reached out and canceled the event. They said they had too many other events pop up. In addition, they didn’t have ANY open space for Gaines in either September or October.


The only reason the event got rescheduled for October 26 is because Gaines’ operation manager, Sarah Clark, looked up the Harvard events calendar and found a date that they couldn’t deny. If she hadn’t done that, who knows if the University would have offered another date.

A student organization, Network of Enlightened Women, hosted the event. However, members from the organization did not want to speak on the record. They feared that Harvard might retaliate against them if they spoke to OutKick or any other media that might agree with the crazy idea that biological men don’t belong in women’s sports or in women’s locker rooms.

That’s in sharp contrast to the students I encountered on the Harvard campus. They had no problem using a megaphone and holding signs, asking for donations for Palestine. These students DO actually hold a crazy belief: that Hamas, a terrorist organization that perpetrated a horrific and deadly massacre on Israel, “treats the Israeli hostages really well.”

This is the point we’ve reached on the campuses of “elite” universities like Harvard. A woman who raced against — and was forced to share a locker room with — a biological male in the Women’s NCAA Championships (and doesn’t want other women to face the same treatment) is considered more “hateful” than students who express clear antisemitic sentiments and think a murderous terrorist organization was justified perpetrating the barbaric murders of 1400 Israelis, while taking more than 200 more as hostages.

Not only that, but these students are now rallying behind Palestine — against Israel — because Israel had the audacity to defend itself against a terrorist attack.


Although Harvard ultimately allowed Gaines to hold her event — they are a private university and are not bound by the First Amendment. Despite that, Harvard’s President recently said she wouldn’t punish student Hamas sympathizers because the school is devoted to the ideals of free speech. Those ideals however seem to matter less for someone like Riley Gaines. For one, they denied any media access to the event. Nothing demonstrates Harvard’s commitment to free speech quite like barring the press.

Because of that, Riley Gaines scheduled a press conference at a hotel nearly two miles from the Harvard University campus. That conference ultimately got canceled, though, because the local media didn’t want to break from covering the terrible mass shooting in Maine.

Second, there were no posters up about the Gaines event anywhere on campus. For a campus that promotes everything from “Extractive Capitalism in the Middle East” lectures to “Cultural Injustice” forums to the Harvard and Princeton glee clubs teaming up for an event — and everything in between — oddly nothing about Riley Gaines.

Gaines was told that posters WERE put up for her appearance. However, they disappeared. I saw no fewer than 10 community cork boards and not a single Riley Gaines image. Weird that those managed to disappear but the rally to “Recognize the Genocide in Palestine” poster remained untouched.

Let’s be very clear: Riley Gaines is not “anti-trans.” She wants women’s sports to be fair. That makes her “pro-woman.” Framing her as “anti-trans” is a way to attack her as a person rather than countering her arguments. Of course, there are no good counter-arguments to the claim that biological men competing against women in athletics isn’t fair.

To that end, the assistant athletic director at Harvard, Erin West, sent a message to all student-athletes at the University. The statement called Gaines an “athlete-turned-anti-trans-activist.” Also in this email was information about supporting Muslim, Arab and Palestinian students. No mention about Jewish or Israeli students, however.

In addition, campus housing advisors sent out an email to all students living in dorms about a “Trans Party” that coincidentally would occur outside the building set to host Riley Gaines. Oh, and the timing of the trans party (6pm-8pm) happened to overlap Gaines’ appearance. Purely a coincidence, surely?

When Gaines reached campus, security escorted her into the auditorium through a back entrance. Unlikes the protestors, who desire to scream and yell at people with whom they disagree, Gaines’ mission is to spread her message to those who are open-minded and want to listen to it. Thus, she didn’t seek to engage the “trans party” or anyone in it.

A student reporter noted that the crowd was “massive” for an event like this. Gaines packed the auditorium. Perhaps that’s a positive sign that more people on the Harvard campus support common sense and sanity than most realize. The problem is that these people are afraid to speak out for fear of retribution.

Another positive sign: the very first person who asked a question during the Q&A started by thanking Riley Gaines for coming to Harvard.

“There are very few truth-tellers willing to come to Harvard these days,” he said.

How sad is that?

Harvard’s motto is “veritas,” which means “truth.”

Yet, there are very few “truth-tellers” even willing to come to the Harvard campus for fear of being attacked.

Truly sad.