Eventbrite Cancels Riley Gaines Event, Citing Her ‘Discrimination and Hatred’

Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines Photo © Wirestock | Dreamstime.com)

Online ticketing platform Eventbrite is facing backlash this week following its decision to remove an event listing by Riley Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer and vocal opponent of male-to-female trans athletes competing in women’s sports.

Meanwhile, critics, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, have pointed out that the platform allowed event listings for what they describe as “pro-Hamas rallies.”

Gaines, who lost a major swimming competition to trans athlete Lia Thomas in 2022, has since emerged as a prominent voice against allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sports.

She claims that trans athletes are effectively replacing women in sporting events. Her stances have made her both a notable figure in discussions about transgender rights and a magnet for controversy.

Following the removal of her event listing on Eventbrite, she took to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to express her frustration.

Eventbrite’s removal notice to Gaines stated that the platform doesn’t support content or events that “discriminate against, harass, or otherwise target individuals or groups based on attributes such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.”

In a defiant post, Gaines argued, “Being a woman and advocating for such isn’t a hate crime.” She further urged her followers to boycott Eventbrite, drawing parallels to a previous boycott against Bud Light for endorsing a transgender influencer.

Senator Cruz weighed in on the matter on X, expressing his dismay at Eventbrite’s decision. He commented, “Americans need to stop giving money to woke corporations that hate them. Eventbrite’s policies allow pro-Hamas rallies but ban people who believe that women exist.”

This sentiment was echoed by Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, who criticized Eventbrite for appearing to have a double standard. He questioned the platform’s values, contrasting their removal of Gaines’ event with their apparent acceptance of a pro-Hamas rally listing.

That particular listing, originating from the New York-based Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, labeled militants responsible for recent violence as “Palestinian resistance fighters.”

The event’s description reportedly did not mention attacks attributed to the group, including those on a music festival.

Eventbrite, in response to the growing controversy, issued a statement emphasizing its commitment to a “safe, inclusive, and respectful marketplace.” The platform reiterated its stance on removing events that violate community guidelines or terms of service, particularly those promoting “discrimination and hatred.”

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