[guest post by JVW]
The painfully-woke sports network apparently ran a segment on Lia Thomas, last-year’s cause célèbre:
ESPN recognized Lia Thomas in a TV special dedicated to Women’s History Month, sparking outrage from female competitors who swam against the transgender-identifying man from the University of Pennsylvania.
The segment honored Thomas for being the first transgender athlete to win a NCAA Division I championship title by winning the 500 freestyle race.
“Thomas made her debut as a member of the women’s team in December 2021,” the network said in a glowing highlight, complete with uplifting instrumental music, of the student’s collegiate swimming career. Thomas was on the men’s team until sophomore year, after which he began transitioning.
Riley Gaines, the former University of Kentucky All-American swimmer who is now a spokeswoman for the Independent Women’s Forum, is none too pleased:
Lia Thomas is not a brave, courageous woman who EARNED a national title. He is an arrogant, cheat who STOLE a national title from a hardworking, deserving woman. The @ncaa is responsible.
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) March 26, 2023
I have a great deal of sympathy for the position of Ms. Gaines on this issue, but I do wish she could be a little more compassionate, or at least eschew some of the more inflammatory language. But I have nothing but contempt for ESPN, who clearly knew this would be a controversial move but seems to either revel in the notoriety or else to be so dedicated to the trans ideology that they are willing to alienate a strong portion of their user base.
I assume that the NCAA will follow the lead of World Athletics, which announced last week that henceforth all trans athletes who reached puberty as males but have since decided to live as women will no longer be eligible for women’s competition, though in the past the corrupt and feckless NCAA has been happy to mount the trans sports bandwagon. Trans advocates have at best provided hasty and incomplete research into the issue, and at worst they have outright lied about the advantages which trans athletes have over female competitors. The latest kerfuffle with NPR provides a perfect lesson in how trans ideology is prioritized over basic science in the progressive eschaton. I have for the past three years argued that we should treat transgendered people with dignity and understanding, but that we should not be succumbing to their empire of lies. I continue to stand by that assessment.