Riley Gaines, a former NCAA champion swimmer at Kentucky, spoke Wednesday about the harrowing experience she faced at San Francisco State University after her event ended.

Gaines, who has championed the rights of female athletes and disagrees that transgender women have the ability to compete against biological women, appeared on OutKick’s «I don’t @ with Dan Dakich» and explained that he welcomes protesters and differences of opinion, but what he experienced at the university was overblown.

She described the situation to Dakich, detailing how things went from tense to extreme.


“I give my speech and of course there are a lot of protesters in the room. But I welcome the protesters. I welcome people with different perspectives,” Gaines said. «That’s why I chose to go somewhere like San Francisco. I know a lot of them will disagree with me, but I want to get in front of them. I want them to change their minds from my perspective. So there were a lot of protesters and it was relatively courteous. , there was some booing, but it was good.

Penn’s Lia Thomas, Kentucky Wildcats swimmer Riley Gaines at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 18, 2022, in Atlanta. (Brett Davis-USA Today Sports)

«After the event, almost as soon as it was over, it was like the floodgates opened and I was rushed. People from outside the classroom rushed in. They turned out the lights. They stormed the podium and pushed and pushed and punched. And they were supposed to that I was supposed to meet with the campus police chief a half hour before the event to discuss an exit strategy if this happened, but the police never showed up to meet me. So, I had no idea that there were police in the room. So in this moment i feared for my life its so chilling to know what these people want to do to you and what they are willing to do to you at this point i was grabbed by an undercover cop (officer) which i really didnt want to follow her at the time because i really didnt believe I had to go to the police, but she was like, ‘Come with me, come with me’ and I didn’t have much choice.

«She’s pushing me. We walked out of the classroom into the hallway where it was packed with more protesters, I’m talking hundreds. We couldn’t get out of the building. We were on the third floor and the stairs were full. We had to resort to going to another room of classes along that corridor where I was barricaded for three hours.


Gaines detailed what happened in the three hours that he feared for his life inside a classroom, not knowing if he was going to be able to get out.

“And in these three hours, these protesters sat outside, pounded on the walls, stomped on the floor, yelling terrible, violent, horrible things to both me and the campus police who were there. I missed my flight home because I was stuck in this room. They were negotiating money with the dean of students if he wanted to get home safely,» he said. «They said if the university paid me to be there. It’s only fair that I get paid if I get home safely, which college didn’t pay me to be there in the first place. That was a wrong idea.

Riley Gaines speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas on August 6, 2022.

Riley Gaines speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas on August 6, 2022. (Reuters/Go Nakamura)

«It seemed like the police weren’t doing their job properly because they were terrified. They didn’t want to be accused of anything. They didn’t want to be assertive in any way to make it seem like they were anything but an ally to this community.

«The dean of students, the administration, the university, they handled this badly. Extremely badly. And since then, they’ve put out statements saying they’re very proud of their brave students for handling such a controversial situation so well and being so peaceful. And actually they said police force was excessive and unnecessary and I was the one spreading violence. It just shows you how universities and administrations are going in the direction that they are going. And it’s not a positive direction. These are the people who are You’re teaching the next generation, but you’re not teaching them to be willing to be in a situation where you can have an open dialogue and hear different perspectives. You’re teaching them that if you disagree with someone, it’s okay to be violent. well. not wanting to listen and doing everything possible to suppress his speech.»

Jamillah Moore, the university’s vice president of student affairs and enrollment administration, sent an email to the student body and made no apology to Gaines. Instead, Moore praised the «tremendous bravery» of the protesters and thanked the students for participating «peacefully.»


«I was in fear for my life at that point,» Gaines told Dakich. «Yet (Jamillah Moore) is she going to call it peaceful? Like we’re negotiating a ransom if I wanted to get home safe and she’s going to call it peaceful? We need to have totally different definitions of peaceful because that’s not peaceful to me. The protesters who were in the room initially that I had orchestrated a sit-in… I knew it was going to happen. I knew there was going to be this sit-in. I found out before I got there. And I’m totally fine with the sit-in. I’m totally okay with it if people wants to come and express their views. I open it for questions at the end, to which I answered all their questions. There were some people with whom I had a great dialogue «That’s mostly peaceful protests. Once again, there was some booing. There were some things that probably could have been avoided, but I’m totally okay with that.»

«But being rushed. Being physically and verbally assaulted. That’s not peaceful by any means. I honestly think this backfired on the protesters because this really just increased my social media following. It just increased people’s eyeballs to see how unhinged these people can be in the guise of being kind, inclusive and tolerant. This was not done out of tolerance or love and compassion. Vengeful is what it is. They were yelling in the hallway: ‘Trans rights are under attack. What do we do? «We defend ourselves. That’s not peaceful.»

Gaines added that she will never stop fighting for female athletes, saying that’s why it’s important for her to get out on campus and talk about her battle.

Riley Gaines is barricaded in a room at San Francisco State University after she says she was assaulted while speaking at a college event hosted by a conservative organization.

Riley Gaines is barricaded in a room at San Francisco State University after she says she was assaulted while speaking at a college event hosted by a conservative organization. (Riley Gaines via Twitter, Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

«I would take a right hook from Mike Tyson if it meant standing up for girls’ rights in the spaces,» Gaines said. «This doesn’t deter me. This doesn’t make me want to be quiet. It doesn’t make me want to hide.»


«I think it’s very important to speak to this demographic: people my age. People who belong to this younger generation. They’re the ones who need to hear it, clearly, as seen in San Francisco. This doesn’t want to make me shut my mouth and I smile kindly and allow the men to take control. It does the complete opposite.»