The call began with Riley Gaines (pictured above), a former University of Kentucky swimmer who has become a household name since she had to compete against Will Thomas, a man whom the NCAA allowed to swim as a woman because he claims to identify as a female named "Lia."
Gaines, now with the Independent Women's Forum (IWF), maintains it is unfair for females to have to compete against males. Her IWF colleague, Adriana McLamb, a former Division 1 college volleyball player, says this is a major issue that the NCAA is ignoring.
"They are not responding or not even caring about comments that have come in from anywhere from high school athletes to professionals and Olympians who are doing their best to save women's sports and keep female sports female," McLamb accounts.
In collegiate-level volleyball, male athletes are typically over 6 feet tall while McLamb stands 5 feet, 3 inches. The net in men's volleyball, she says, is 7 to 8 inches higher than the net female teams are fighting to overcome.
Even the speed of the volleyball is different: The fastest serve in men's volleyball is a record 78.9 MPH. The record in women's is 64 MPH.
In April, when the GOP-led House of Representatives approved the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, which would bar males from competing in female sports, college volleyball player Macy Petty told reporters it is no surprise why male athletes would dominate in women's volleyball.
"Imagine being seven inches taller. It's a big difference," she complained. "Suddenly, mediocre athletes can hit like All-Americans."
McLamb recognizes that female athletes could jeopardize their scholarships or spots on teams by not participating in events featuring males, but that is a stand many are willing to take.
"The discrimination against women is to the point that it already is, and a majority of these athletes are fed up, and it's time to take a stand," says McLamb.
Carson Steelman, press secretary for Heritage Action, applauds the "wonderful thing" Gaines is doing to raise awareness. Her organization has also created a public comment portal for people to share their thoughts on the Biden administration's efforts to change Title IX and, in Steelman's words, "erase women's sports."
"Even if you're not an athlete, there are still a lot of ways that you can get involved in this issue," she relays.