High schooler gives thumbs down to losing track event to trans athlete

Unhappy at the finish line: California high school athlete gives big thumbs down after being pushed out of state finals by trans runner as protestors screaming ‘that is f**kng disgusting’ clash with security

  • Adeline Johnson of Branson High School took fourth place during a recent meet in California
  • Video showed the teen giving a thumbs down after losing to a trans athlete, Athena Ryan, who pushed her out of running for a state title
  • Protestors also attended the event carrying signs that read ‘protect female sports’ and clashed with security at the meet 

A high school athlete was seen giving a thumbs down on the medal podium after losing a shot at the state championships to a transgender athlete.

Adeline Johnson finished fourth in the 1600 meter race at Saturday’s North Coast Meet of Champions of California, where Athena Ryan, a transgender female, came second.

In a video from the medal presentation, Johnson can be seen waving at people in the crowd before giving a thumbs down.

Ryan, along with the first and third place winners, will now move on to California Interscholastic Federation State Track & Field Championships next week.

The video comes as protestors were also at the meet with signs demanding to ‘protect female sports.’ Clashes between the protestors, others and security led those carrying the banner to be removed from the stadium.

Adeline Johnson, who took fourth place in a high school track meet, gave a thumbs down after losing a shot at state track championships to a trans athlete

Johnson (left) came in fourth while Athena Ryan (right), a transgender female, took second place in the North Coast Meet of Champions of California

The video of Johnson’s apparent displeasure with her loss was posted by the Independent Council on Women’s Sports. 

According to their Twitter bio, the group is a ‘network of women athletes & our supporters advocating for female protected categories in sport.’ 

The video incorrectly referred to Ryan as a ‘trans-identifying male’ but pointed out Johnson’s thumbs down response to her place. 

ICONS was not the only group to have their eye on the track meet in California at the weekend as another group that goes by ‘Women Are Real’ on social media also showed up at the meet to voice their opposition. 

A group of angry protesters held up a banner reading ‘Protect Female Sports’ outside of the track meet in Dublin, California. 

Video posted on the Women Are Real Twitter account showed an altercation involving another woman who took issue with the banner. 

‘That is f**kng disgusting,’ the woman said. ‘I find that f**king offensive.’ 

Another video shows security removing the group from the premises. 

‘They’re kicking us out because we care about women and girls,’ one protestor says. 

The video of Johnson’s apparent displeasure with her loss was posted by the Independent Council on Women’s Sports and shared on social media

Ryan’s second place finish pushed Johnson out of the running for the woman’s state title 

‘I wasn’t expecting that. I dropped like 17 seconds on my season’s best in the past two weeks,’ Ryan said in an interview with MileSplit after the race 

Ryan spoke with MileSplit after the race and did not seem bothered by the protests.

In her second place win in the 1-mile race, she finished with a time of 4:55.91. 

‘I wasn’t expecting that. I dropped like 17 seconds on my season’s best in the past two weeks,’ Ryan said in an interview after the race. 

‘After last weekend, I didn’t think I could run low 5s again. I was just coming here trying to break 5 – just glad I finished it out,’ she continued. 

Before her second place win at the qualifier for state championships, she had placed sixth in the 1,600-meter preliminary race. 

The California Interscholastic Federation follows ‘Gender Identity Participation’ rules first implemented in 2013. 

‘All students should have the opportunity to participate in CIF athletics and/or activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity,’ the rules read.

‘Athletes will participate in programs consistent with their gender identity or the gender most consistently expressed,’ the guide continues. 

The rules also state that once a student has been granted eligibility, they do not need to be renewed every school year. 

Protestors were at the meet and made banners to voice their opposition to trans people being allowed to compete in women’s events

The clashes between protestors and others, including security which removed protestors carrying a banner in the stadium

The transgender athlete’s win has since sparked outrage online as the debate over transgender athletes in girl’s sports rages.

In April, House Republicans passed a ban on transgender women and girls from competing in female school athletics. 

No Democrats joined their conservative counterparts in voting for the bill, which will not be taken up in the Senate.  

Republicans say the issue is about protecting women’s rights while Democrats say it opens up a fresh salvo to attack trans kids who already face bullying in schools. 

‘Anyone who claims to be a feminist or believe in what feminism was founded upon, should probably stand with us,’ Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, said in a news conference at the time. 

Those on the other side of the aisle disagreed vehemently with Republicans.  

‘These kids are kids and should be able to play with their friends. This isn’t about protecting women & girls, it’s about attacking trans kids,’ said Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan. 

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