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A few mainstream media journalists joined USA Today sports columnist Nancy Armour in mocking ESPN broadcaster Samantha Ponder for calling out biological men competing in women’s sports.
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Fox News reported:
Reporters, like USA Today’s sports journo Lindsay Schnell, dogpiled on Ponder after she was accused of promoting “bigotry” for demanding fairness in women’s sports.
Schnell made a particularly wild argument, claiming that if trans women (biological males) have an unfair advantage over female athletes, then NBA star LeBron James has an unfair advantage over the professional male basketball players he competes against.
The drama began over the weekend when Armour’s column trashed the ESPN reporter for defending former college athlete Riley Gaines as well as her cause championing fairness in women’s sports.
Ponder tweeted Thursday about the support she has received for defending women’s sports from trans male competitors, writing, “I barely said anything publicly [about] this issue & I’ve had so many [people message] me, stop me in the street to say thank you+ tell me stories [about] girls who are afraid to speak up for fear of lost employment/being called hateful. It is not hateful to demand fairness in sports for girls.”
In response to Ponder, Armour grilled her, claiming in her Sunday piece, “Don’t be fooled by the people who screech about ‘fairness’ to cloak their bigotry toward transgender girls and women, the transgender girls and women who have the audacity to want to play sports, in particular.”
The columnist accused Ponder of spreading “hate, fear and ignorance” as well as “plain old bigotry.”
Amour’s mocking of Ponder inspired other journalists to join in.
Schnell tweeted, “Every time I hear someone say trans women competing in sports isn’t “fair,” I think of these wise words from @Layshiac: ‘Is LeBron ‘fair’? It’s sports! Nothing is fair.’ (Which is to say — this is a really dumb argument.)”
Former NBC Sports editor Alex Azzi praised Armour’s takedown of Ponder, writing, “Great column by @nrarmour. Worth your time today,” along with a quote from the article.
Riley Gaines recently opened up about the harrowing experience she faced at San Fransisco State University after her event was finished.
Gaines, who has been a champion of female athletes’ rights and disagrees with transgender women having the ability to compete against biological women, appeared on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich”.
She described the situation to Dakich, talking about how things went from tense to extreme.
“I give my speech and, of course, there’s many protesters in the room. But I welcome protesters. I welcome people with different perspectives,” Gaines said. “That’s why I choose to go somewhere like San Francisco. I know a lot of them won’t agree with me but that’s who I want to get in front of. That’s who I want to change their minds to see from my perspective. So there was lots of protesters and it was relatively civil. There was some heckling. But it was good.”
“After the event, almost as soon as it finished, it was as if the floodgates opened and I was rushed. People from outside the classroom rushed in. They flickered the lights off. They stormed the podium and they were pushing and shoving and hitting. And I was supposed to meet with the head of campus police a half an hour before the event to discuss an exit strategy if this happened but the police never showed up to meet me. And so, I had no idea there was even police in the room. So at this moment I feared for my life. It’s so chilling to know what these people want to do to you and what they’re willing to do to you. At this point, an undercover police (officer) grabbed me, which I truly didn’t want to follow her at the time because I didn’t really believe she was the police, but she was saying, ‘Come with me, come with me’ and I didn’t have much of an option.”
“She’s pushing me along. We exit the classroom into the hallway to where it was filled with more protesters – I’m talking hundreds. We could not exit the building. We were on the third floor and the stairways were packed. We had to resort to going into another classroom along that hallway where I was barricaded in for three hours.”
“It just felt like the police weren’t doing their job adequately because they were terrified. They didn’t want to be accused of anything. They didn’t want to be assertive in any way that they could make it look like they were anything other than an ally to this community.
“The dean of students, the administration, the university – they handled this poorly. Extremely poorly. And since then, they released statements saying they are so proud of their brave students for handling such a controversial situation so well and being so peaceful. And they actually said the police force was excessive and uncalled for and that I was the one spreading violence. It just shows you how universities and how administrations in the direction they’re going. And it is not a positive direction. These are the people who are teaching the next generation but they’re not teaching them to be willing to be in a situation where you can have open dialogue and hear different perspectives. They’re teaching that if you disagree with someone, it’s OK to be violent. It’s OK to not want to listen and do everything you can to suppress their speech.”