SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Anti-trans athlete activist Riley Gaines tweeted that San Francisco State University “condones violence” and “doesn’t uphold free speech” following a conservative pundit accusing the school of trying to “cancel his speech,” which is still scheduled to go ahead. The speaker, former San Jose Sharks reporter Jon Root, is slated to give a talk on “How Wokeness is Destroying America” on Wednesday for the conservative student group, Turning Point USA.
In a tweet Monday night, Root wrote that SFSU was trying to “cancel” his speech, “weeks after SFSU celebrated the assault of Riley Gaines,” who he said was “held hostage for hours by radical, trans activists.” Gaines, a former Division 1 college swimmer, was on campus earlier this month to deliver a speech decrying the participation of trans athletes in women’s sports.
Following the speech, Gaines claimed she was attacked on her way out, saying she was “ambushed and physically hit twice by a man.” She also posted video that showed student protesters yelling “trans rights are human rights.”
The video went viral and helped land Gaines appearances on Fox News.
Root, who is scheduled to speak at the school’s Health and Social Services building Wednesday, said the school is “assaulting free speech by revoking the room we booked” and refusing “to provide a larger venue” for the speech.
In a lengthy letter written to the campus community Tuesday, SFSU President Lynn Mahoney responded that Root’s event would likely “occur spontaneously on the Quad,” and that the school had “informed the student organization that we have no available venue large enough to host the number of RSVPs” received.
Mahoney noted that there would be heightened University Police presence during the speech and urged students to “defy the expectations of media and others who want to see us react negatively and instead use this moment to amplify values of inclusion and not values or speakers we find objectionable.”
“I write today to implore all not to disrupt the event or attempt to shout down the speaker, or engage negatively with other participants,” she added. “Doing any of these will amplify divisive speech and messages and empower speakers with whom you disagree. Engage in protest that does not amplify the message.”