In a blow to free speech and women’s rights, Oberlin College fired Kim Russell, its women’s lacrosse coach, for expressing the controversial view that men don’t belong in women’s sports.

In March 2022, Russell shared an Instagram post congratulating Emma Weyant as the “real woman who won” the NCAA 500-yard freestyle, after Weyant placed second to Lia Thomas, a transgender woman. Russell added her own comments, questioning the fairness of men competing in women’s sports and emphasizing her lifelong dedication to women’s athletics.

A student reported Russell’s post to college authorities, leading Oberlin’s athletic director to demand an apology from her. Russell refused to comply.

Pat Gray humorously remarked that Russell is “a danger to society,” highlighting the seriousness with which Oberlin treated the situation.

Oberlin’s senior associate director of athletics, Creg Jantz, stated, “It’s acceptable to have your own opinions, but when they go against Oberlin College’s beliefs, it’s a problem for your employment.” Gray criticized this stance, calling it “incredible.”