ESPN's Sam Ponder called "bigoted" over transgender athlete position.
USA Today's Nancy Armour's Sunday opinion essay criticized ESPN commentator Sam Ponder for her advocacy of women's sports equality.
Ponder and ESPN colleague Sage Steele have supported Riley Gaines, who has led the demand for transgender athletes to play against their birth gender rather than their gender identity
Since 2022, Gaines has been a leader. After Gaines tweeted about transgender high school runners in California, Ponder addressed the matter again.
“I barely said anything publicly about this issue & I’ve had so many ppl msg me, stop me in the street to say thank you+ tell me stories abt girls who are afraid to speak up for fear of losing employment/being called hateful.
"Demanding sports fairness for girls is not hateful," Ponder tweeted.
Ponder's statements were "plain old bigotry" in Armour's piece.
“Don’t be fooled by the people who screech about ‘fairness’ to cloak their bigotry toward transgender girls and women, especially those who have the audacity to want to play sports,” Armour began the piece.
Ponder's focus on this problem rather than the unequal financing of girls' and women's sports irked Armour.
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