980AM ESPN Radio in Washington DC featured one of the nastiest, most anti-transgender rantsever heard. Along with their guest, hosts Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin lashed out at trans college basketball player Gabrielle Ludwig. Among their horrific comments:
- They said transgender people should not be allowed to play sports. ”Whatever you’ve got to do to scratch that inner itch and quell those inner demons, that’s fine. But don’t go playing sports then. And don’t go playing sports saying, ‘but I’ve go the rights of everyone else.’”
- They make fun of Ludwig’s appearance, including her biceps and tattoos. Clearly reacting to photographs, they expressed deep-seated disgust at her appearance. “That could be a Russian chick,” they said as they cackled.
- They referred to her as “he/she” and as “it.” “I think ‘it’ is the politically correct term.”
Helen Carroll, who has worked tirelessly for transgender rights in sports for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, was horrified:
“The horrific comments by ESPN’s Radio’s Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin show a level of disrespect and harmful rhetoric that is inexcusable. They called Gabrielle Ludwig, transgender California Community College student-athlete, “it”. This and their entire transphobic rant shows a level of ignorance and just plain ‘meanness’ that I try to stay away from. Unfortunately, the many transgender sports participants I have had the privilege to work with, are not shielded from hateful people such as Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin. I would think that a sports network that espouses respect for LGBT people will see the harm that is occurring with this rant, be forthcoming with an apology and take immediate action against these two so-called sports radio professionals.”
There is simply no legitimate reaction the station could possibly have but to suspend everyone involved. These are disgusting comments of the highest order, meant to demean another human being who has broken no rules and no laws.