Setting the record straight!
Michael Phelps' transgender ex-girlfriend, Taylor Lianne Chandler, is calling out the former Olympian for his "hypocritical" views on trans athletes.
Phelps, 36, recently went on the record in an interview with CNN and called transgender swimmer Lia Thomas' participation in organized sports "complicated". He later added that "sports should all be played on an even playing field," in reference to the continued discussion of which gendered teams trans athletes should be allowed to play on in school and college sports.
"He doesn't fully understand the science, advantages or disadvantages," Chandler exclusively told Radar, noting her ex was "a hypocrite for saying it should be a level playing field."
"He is genetically superior with his 6'7 wingspan, double-jointed ankles and huge feet," she argued of the decorated swimmer. "His chemical composition allows him to breathe in and fill his lungs and hold his breath longer [than his competitors]."
Chandler noted that despite understanding Phelps was likely put on the spot and uncomfortable with answering the hard-hitting questions, the whole interview was still deeply hurtful for her to watch, given their history.
"In that moment of watching and hearing him say those things, it felt like a literal slap in the face," she candidly told the outlet. "I felt like I was good enough to love, lay with and be with, but not be respected or allowed in the women's sport of swimming – like I was not a woman, but rather an alien or God-knows-what. It can't be a woman's sport if it doesn't include all women, period!"
"People against women in trans sports have like five examples to choose from," Chandler further explained. "It's not like trans women are dominating any sport overall. It is a pocket here and there around the country that the press jumps on to make it seem like it is a world pandemic."
As for her own beliefs surrounding the highly debated subject of trans athletes, Chandler believes there should be standards, but it should be determined on a "case by case" basis according to both the individual as well as the sport involved.
"There should be standards, but I don't believe they are fair enough at the moment, especially for someone who started the physical and medical transition a year ago," she said, referring to Thomas, who only began their transition in 2019 and competed on the university swim team a year later. "One year on blockers and estrogen isn't enough to undue the advantage of masculinization during puberty that at 18 you would still be undergoing."