Riley Gaines says she’ll ‘happily pay’ female pool player who boycotted match against trans opponent

OutKick’s women’s rights advocate Riley Gaines has the back of a female pool star who forfeited her match rather than compete against a biological man in the European Pool Championships final.

Known as “Miss Cue,” Kim O’Brien has been breaking balls for Suffolk County as the team’s captain for 25 years, according to The Irish Post. She also “serves as the captain for her international team, Ireland, where she currently holds the top ranking,” the outlet reports.

“Kim began her competitive journey with the England team in 1992, where she remained for five years before making the decision to switch allegiances and represent Ireland,” The Post continues. “In her inaugural appearance at the World Championships, O’Brien reached the quarterfinals. Remarkably, she has been a consistent presence at the World Championships in Blackpool for twelve consecutive years.”

Like Gaines, O’Brien “boasts an impressive track record as a champion,” according to The Post. “She has clinched the Suffolk championship title for numerous years, triumphed as the Irish champion five times, and achieved the prestigious title of European Champion in both 2001 and 2010. Notably, she is only the second woman to have secured this title twice and is well known in the scene.”

So when,  just as her match with her transgender competitor, Harriet Haynes, was set to begin, O’Brien made her intention to concede clear, it was, as Gaines put it, “Absolutely incredible.”

The champion swimmer announced she would “happily” make up for what O’Brien “lost out on.”

“At the European Pool Championships, female player, Kim O’Brien, forfeited the women’s final where she was set to play male player, Harriet Haynes,” Gaines wrote on X. “I am happily paying her the prize money she lost out on.”

“Stop playing their game,” Gaines urged women. “More of this!!”

According to The Irish Post, Haynes “transitioned from male to female 10 years ago, at the age of 23,” and, as American Wire News reported, it isn’t the first time a female pool player has refused to play him.

In November of last year, Haynes was declared the winner of the 2023 Champion of Champions Ladies tournament after player Lynne Pinches informed the official at the table in Denbighshire, Wales, that she would not be competing against him.

The crowd applauded Pinches’ stand against the “insanity” then, and they applauded again for O’Brien.

“We truly live in a bizarro world when males are able to play in female sports by just saying they’re females,” wrote one user on X of O’Brien’s concession. “Good for Kim O’Brien for standing up against the cancellation of women. And good for Riley Gaines for paying her the prize money she forfeited by doing so.”

Melissa Fine

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