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Michael Phelps Slammed For Hypocrisy After Saying Sports Should Be 'Even Playing Field' When Asked About Trans Swimmer

Michael Phelps Slammed For Hypocrisy After Saying Sports Should Be 'Even Playing Field' When Asked About Trans Swimmer
Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images; Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Multi-gold medalist Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps received backlash for suggesting the inclusion of trans athletes in competitive sports should be an "even playing field" to be considered fair.

Phelps holds the distinction of being the most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals, with 23 of them being gold. Phelps height and build were competitive advantages that allowed him to dominate.

Apparently an even playing field only applies when Phelps isn't the one with an advantage.

The 36-year-old made the comment during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour in response to the University of Pennsylvania controversy surrounding transgender swimmer, Lia Thomas.


Thomas has dominated college swimming competitions this season after previously competing on the men's team for three years.

But her successes sparked criticism for trans athletes being allowed to compete as their gender.

"I think this leads back to the organizing committees again," Phelps told Amanpour in Thursday's interview, adding:

"Because it has to be a level playing field. I think that's something that we all need."
"Because that’s what sports are and for me, I don’t know where this is going to go. I don’t know what’s going to happen."

He continued repeating his argument of a "level playing field."

“I don’t know where this is going to go, I don’t know what’s going to happen."
“I believe 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.”

According to The Telegraph, which reported on Phelps being a biomechanical marvel, the former Olympian is 6'4 tall, has a 6’7″ wingspan, and has flipper-like size 14 feet with double-jointed ankles that allow him to jet-propel through the water.

His physical advantage was also not lost on Pink News, which noted the athlete was blessed "by the swimming gods."

Researchers have also found Phelps produces half the lactic acid of other swimmers, which gives him an extra boost of stamina when competing.

Given his genetic advantages made him a force to be reckoned with in the water, Phelps was accused of being hypocritical in his argument sports need to be an "even playing field."

People also mocked him for his cryptic response when they argued the topic wasn't as complicated as he made it out to be.





Thomas will be competing in the Ivy League championships next month.

She is already qualified to compete in the NCAA championships coming up in March.