Gabrielle Ludwig is a 6-foot-8 50-year old playing junior college basketball for Mission College in Santa Clara, California. She was born as Robert Ludwig, and now lives her life as a woman. If you have just logged on to the Internet for the first time or have never met a person who is not exactly like you, you may find this shocking. What you may also find shocking is that three guys hosting a local sports talk radio show in Washington, DC, have maintained 1975′s asshole’s opinion of how transgendered people work, and would love to tell you about it.
The men featured in this clip are Steve Czaban, Andy Pollin and Chris Knoche. They do the asinine “he/she” thing for a while and believe “IT” is the politically correct term for a woman who used to be a man. They have a legitimate point about age limits in college sports and bring up the interesting question of how transgendered athletes should fit into sex-specific sports leagues, but it’s hard to pay attention to because they’re more interested in groaning and wanking to each other about how they want the gist of the story, because they aren’t going to read it. They say they believe that Gabrielle should have the same human rights as everyone else, but sports are different. You know why? Because transgendered people only deserve rights if Weenie and The Butt over at ESPN 980 don’t have to know about it.
One thing they suddenly know about: issuing public apologies to keep their jobs. This was ESPN 980′s statement:
We strongly believe two of our employees crossed the line when discussing a tanssexual person on their program last Thursday. Such intolerance and insensitivity will never be tolerated by this company. Due to the nature of their conversation, the pair have been temporarily removed from ESPN980′s Sports Reporter program.
ESPN wasn’t happy either, but they barely know ESPN 980 exists:
“The two are not employees of ESPN and made the comments on an affiliated radio station that controls its own local content. The offensive commentary goes completely against ESPN’s company culture and values. We have expressed our significant dissatisfaction to the station’s management.”
Here’s the simple answer, from the smallest soap box I can find: The correct pronoun to use when referring to Gabrielle Ludwig is “her.” She’s a woman. If you are a DNA scientist and want to expound upon the genetic differences between classically-defined “men” and “women,” fine, let’s do that, but do it in a respectful, intelligent way that shows folks you’re a grown-up in the current century. If you’re educated enough about sports to get a job talking about it on the radio, there’s a good chance you could become equally educated about human sexuality.
Or, you know, you could keep my grandpa’s weird opinions and superiority complexes forever. However you wanna do it.