"I think ‘it' is the politically correct term." That's how Steve Czaban, a Washington, D.C.-based ESPN Radio host, described a transgender basketball player while speaking with co-host Andy Pollin and regular guest Chris Knoche. But let's back up.
Gabrielle Ludwig is 6-foot-8 and playing this year this year for Mission College, a community college in Santa Clara, California. It's a tiny school with five women's sports programs (badminton is among them!). She's 50 years old and last played college basketball in the early 1980s, for Nassau Community College, well before she transitioned. Her name was Robert Ludwig back then.
So, why would some guys on an ESPN Radio affiliate in Washington, D.C., take on a topic that's decidedly not local or urgent? Cause look at that! THAT PERSON IS WEIRD.
"Do yourself a favor! Look it up online!" coos one.
"Tattooed, big biceps!" said Pollin
"That could be a Russian chick," said Knoche.
It's sort of shocking how genuinely awful these guys are:
"The whole gender-bending thing," said Czaban. "You know, whatever you gotta do, to scratch that inner itch or to quell those inner demons, that's fine, but don't go playing sports then. Don't go playing sports saying, 'But I've got the rights as everyone else.' Yeah, you've got the rights to live as a human being, you know, with other people respecting you and everything else. But athletics is different."
So kind of you to let her live as a human being. As long as her life doesn't include playing sports at an obscure junior college. What else? Oh, yes, it. "The politically correct term." Get it? Czaban is being ironic, because he's brave enough to be politically in-correct, defying the powerful pro-transgender lobby and its ridiculous idea that people should be referred to with the pronouns they prefer, or with human pronouns at all.
And what are they so afraid of? (Besides a man being willing to "give up his testicles," as they can't help dwelling on.) Here's Ludwig in USA Today, talking about her experience as a college player:
"If the example I can set for the kids who are transgenders in high school, for the people who hate transgender people and for those learning to deal with transgenders, transsexuals, if they see me as a normal person and we are not the bogeyman and love life and raise kids just like you," Ludwig says, "maybe some of this mystery of who these people are will be taken away and there can be more blending into society. People are afraid of what they don't know. I am willing to put myself out there"
Czaban might not know that, since he made a point of saying he was "not gonna read it"—who knows, if you actually look at USA Today before mocking the story subject, you might catch transgender, right? Nice work, assholes.
UPDATE, 4:04 p.m.: Outsports got a comment from an ESPN spokesman who has come down hard on these guys. Problem is, ESPN doesn't control the content of the radio station. Here's the statement:
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.
Drew, who is scheduled to appear on the show this afternoon, reports down below in Kinja that they won't be hosting today's show. That seems like a pretty good indication that they've been suspended, at least for today. They'll be replaced by Scott Jackson.