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Riley Gaines praises girls who refused to compete with trans athlete as WV takes law to Supreme Court

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Riley Gaines praises girls who refused to compete with trans athlete as WV takes law to Supreme Court

Riley Gaines, a former collegiate swimmer with the Kentucky Wildcats who has been a staunch supporter for fairness in women’s sports, praised a group of middle school girls who refused to compete against a transgender athlete last week.

Gaines appeared on Fox News Channel’s “America Reports” along with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey after the official announced he will fight the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling to strike down the state’s “Save Women’s Sports Act.”

Riley Gaines testifies during a House subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, Dec. 5, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Bridgeport, West Virginia, middle-schoolers stepped into the circle for the shot put and discus competitions and then stepped out in protest of the transgender athlete who was competing against them, according to OutKick

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“I could not be more proud of these girls,” Gaines, an OutKick contributor who hosts the “Gaines for Girls” podcast told Sandra Smith. “Again, 13, 14 years old, they’re in middle school yet they’re the ones who are forced to be the adults in the room to advocate for their own rights to quality opportunity, safety and privacy which were once ensured by Title IX, but now, of course, are under threat, and which were once ensured by the law here in West Virginia. But now, with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling, it’s all under threat, which sets a terrible precedent.

“Could not be more proud, could not be more inspired, by these girls. Ultimately, that’s what revitalizes me. It reminds me of what we’re fighting for. It’s girls just like Emmy Salerno and the other four girls who decided not to compete against a boy when given the opportunity.”

Morrisey also praised the girls.

“What we saw last week with those five young girls stepping up, I think that should be replicated across the country,” he said. “But the stakes in this case on a lot of these issues, they couldn’t be any higher.”

Earlier, Morrisey was with Gaines for the ceremonial signing of Independent Women’s Voice’s “Stand With Women” commitment. He then announced he would take the state’s case over the Save Women’s Sports Act to the Supreme Court.

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Patrick Morrisey in April 2024

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced he’s taking his fight to the Supreme Court. (Screenshot)

The state law prohibited transgender girls from competing against biological girls in sports. But in a 2-1 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the law violated Title IX – siding with the American Civil Liberties Union, its West Virginia chapter and Lambda Legal.

“We’re vigorously defending the law and that law is reasonable,” Morrisey said. “It’s based on biology and it’s based on fairness.

“We’re working on defending the integrity of women’s sports. We must protect our young women. Opportunities for women and girls are precious and we have to take advantage for every one of them. And every time a biological male competes, he takes away an opportunity from a biological girl.

“That isn’t just unfair. Boys have a competitive advantage. They’re bigger. They’re faster. They’re stronger – whether or not they’ve gone through typical biological male puberty.”

At the news conference, Gaines added, “Allowing males to compete in women’s sports is risky, it is unfair and it is discriminatory. And it must stop – which is exactly what AG Morrisey has been fighting so tenaciously for.”

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OREGON HIGH SCHOOL TRANSGENDER TRACK ATHLETE COMPETES AGAINST GIRLS AT EVENT, SPARKING OUTRAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Riley Gaines at a presser

Riley Gaines speaks at a news conference with West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey. (Sceenshot)

West Virginia’s “Save Women’s Sports Act” was signed into law in 2021. It required student-athletes to compete and play against those of their biological gender. The law was challenged on the basis that it violated the 14th Amendment and protections under Title IX.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin ruled in January 2023 that the law did not violate Title IX protections. However, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to reinstate a preliminary injunction.

The Supreme Court ruled last April that the transgender girl who challenged the law could compete with biological girls on the middle school’s girls’ sports teams. Supreme Court justices refused to disturb an appeals court order that made it possible for the girl to continue playing on her school’s track and cross-country teams. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented from the decision.

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West Virginia was one of at least 24 states that had laws barring transgender women and girls from competing against the gender they identify as.

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Celtics advance to NBA Finals after completing sweet of Pacers

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Celtics advance to NBA Finals after completing sweet of Pacers

All season long, the Eastern Conference was the Boston Celtics’ to lose.

After dominating their side of the bracket, they are back in the NBA Finals.

The Celtics completed the sweep of the Indiana Pacers on Monday night to return to the bidding of the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the second time in three seasons.

Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics accepts The Larry Bird Trophy after winning Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on May 27, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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The Pacers did all they could to live to see another day, leading by as many as nine points, but Derrick White broke a 102-102 tie with a three-pointer with just about 45 seconds to go.

Indy led by four with 3:33 to go, but missed their final four shots and turned the ball over twice – Jrue Holiday grabbed an offensive rebound with just over four seconds left to ice it.

The Celtics are seeking revenge after last year’s utter failure, where as the No. 2 seed, lost in the first round to the Miami Heat, an eighth seed, in the Eastern Conference Finals – they had fallen in that series, three games to none, and forced a Game 7, but lost it.

Celtics win East

The Boston Celtics celebrate after winning Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on May 27, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Boston has not won the title since 2008 – they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games two years ago. It’s currently their second-longest drought, with their longest having been from 1987 to their most recent championship season 15 years ago. 

After beating the Los Angeles Lakers that year, Kobe Bryant got revenge by winning two years later, going back-to-back.

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Tyrese Haliburton missed his second-straight game for Indiana with an injured left hamstring.

Jaylen Brown with trophy

Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics accepts the The Larry Bird Trophy earning the Eastern Conference Finals MVP after winning Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on May 27, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Boston is 12-2 in these playoffs – they beat both the No. 8 Heat and No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers in five games.

Jaylen Brown was named the series MVP, averaging 27.3 points per game.

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Eagles Flight, half brother to Flightline, makes impressive winning debut at Santa Anita

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Eagles Flight, half brother to Flightline, makes impressive winning debut at Santa Anita

As Eagles Flight was walked from the detention barn toward the paddock at Santa Anita on Monday, the 3-year-old son of Curlin could look up and see a mural of his half brother, 2022 Horse of the Year Flightline. Expectations were high for Eagles Flight’s debut after a series of dazzling workouts, and let’s just say the future looks bright.

With jockey Flavien Prat aboard and sent off as the even-money favorite, Eagles Flight won the maiden special weight race for six furlongs by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:10.07. The way Eagles Flight pulled away in the stretch and overcame being in tight quarters and having dirt kicked into his face made trainer John Sadler very happy.

“He got about four races of experience in him from one race,” Sadler said.

There was a brief delay in the paddock because Prat was wearing the wrong silks and needed to switch to those from Summer Wind Equine, the breeder and primary owner with Hronis Racing and William Farish. Eagles Flight’s mother, Feathered, also produced Flightline, who won all six of his starts and also was trained by Sadler.

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Sadler said afterward Eagles Flight acts as if he wants to run a mile, so that could be in the future plans, maybe even the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar later this year.

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Bill Walton's former colleague, Jim Gray, 'heartbroken' over death of 'best friend': 'A national treasure'

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Bill Walton's former colleague, Jim Gray, 'heartbroken' over death of 'best friend': 'A national treasure'

The sports world lost an icon on Monday as basketball Hall of Famer-turned-analyst Bill Walton died of cancer at age 71.

Walton was loved by many, especially former colleague Jim Gray, who worked with Walton for several networks, and the two shared a friendship for 40 years.

“My heart is broken. Bill Walton was the best friend a guy could ever have,” Gray sent in an email to Fox News Digital. “He was loving, generous, kind, caring, intelligent, and so much fun. He loved life, his family, basketball, and most of all, people. I always marveled at how he had time for everyone and was never in a hurry. Bill was a national treasure and brought joy to the world.”

Announcer Jim Gray, right, is shown with analyst Bill Walton during the Duke-Wisconsin game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 6, 2015. (John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

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“For 40 years, every time we were together, we would laugh,” he wrote. “He was a library of knowledge and a fountain of wisdom. Broadcasting games together at CBS, NBC, ESPN, ABC, Westwood One, and the [Sacramento] Kings was a strange and wonderful journey. I’m grateful for all the years with Bill. It was the blessing of a lifetime. He will be in my heart forever.”

“May God rest his soul and bless Lori, Adam, Chris, Nate, and Luke. Frann and I send our love, and we will always honor Bill’s memory and be there for the Walton family, just as he was always there for us,” Gray continued.

“Bill would always say, ‘I’m the luckiest man in the world.’” No, Bill, I am, and we all are, because we knew you. Rest in peace, my friend.”

Walton once credited Gray for saving his life in 2017 by finding his spine surgeon when he had been going through physical issues and his spine “absolutely collapsed and failed” nine years prior. Walton said he “had nothing” and contemplated the worst.

Bill Walton smiles

Bill Walton as a part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 17, 2024, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

LEBRON JAMES’ AGENT SEEMS TO REVEAL NBA STAR’S OFFSEASON PLANS

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“My life was not worth living. I was going to kill myself. If I had a gun, I would have used it,” Walton said. “But Jim called every single day, said, ‘Bill, don’t give up, you can make it …’ He did everything he could to make sure I still had a chance.”

Walton won three straight national player of the year awards from 1972 to 1974 before becoming the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. His impact on an NBA court was quick as the Trail Blazers would go on to win the 1978 NBA Championship, and Walton was named Finals MVP and the league MVP for that season.

Following his time in Portland, Walton moved on to the then-San Diego Clippers, where he spent four seasons, including his final one when they moved to Los Angeles. He joined the Celtics for the 1985-1986 season, helping them to the NBA title that year, and he was named the league’s Sixth Man of the Year as well.  

Walton finished his career averaging 13.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game over 468 contests. He was named to the NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams.

Walton’s color commentary was exceptional as he would always keep viewers – and his play-by-play partners – on their toes with wild stories from his playing days while providing excellent analysis and insight on the game at the same time.

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Walton was also a father who passed the game down to his children, including Luke Walton, who won back-to-back NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010 during his playing days. Luke currently serves as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers after previously head coaching the Lakers (2016-2019) and Kings (2019-2022).

Bill Walton calling game

Bill Walton (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/File)

Chris Walton (San Diego State), Nate Walton (Princeton) and Adam Walton (LSU, Pomona College, College of Notre Dame) all played college basketball as well.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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