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Tipsheet

Major ESPN Personality Breaks Rank on Issue of Trans Athletes in Women's Sports

ESPN’s Sam Ponder came out in opposition to trans athletes competing in women’s sports, becoming the latest personality at the network to break rank on the issue. 

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Responding to a tweet from Riley Gaines criticizing the proposed changes to Title IX, Ponder said: “This would take away so many opportunities for biological women and girls in sports. It is a shame that we are needing to fight for the integrity of Title IX in 2023 and the reason it was needed in the first place. #savewomensports

Gaines, a former Kentucky swimmer who competed against trans athlete Lia Thomas, said the new proposal “denies science, truth, and common sense.”

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Sage Steele, who was previously the only personality at ESPN to defend women's sports, applauded Ponder's comment. 

As OutKick noted, Ponder's remarks are significant because ESPN has been supportive of Thomas and trans athletes in general, going so far as to highlight the biological male in March for a Women's History Month special.


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