Several mainstream media journalists joined forces with USA Today sports columnist Nancy Armour in criticizing ESPN broadcaster Samantha Ponder for her remarks regarding biological men participating in women's sports.
Reporters, including Lindsay Schnell, a sports journalist at USA Today, heavily criticized Ponder after she was accused of promoting "bigotry" for advocating for fairness in women's sports.
Schnell presented an unusual argument, suggesting that if transgender women (biological males) have an unfair advantage over female athletes, then NBA star LeBron James also possesses an unfair advantage over the professional male basketball players he competes against.
The controversy ignited over the weekend when Armour's column criticized the ESPN reporter for supporting former college athlete Riley Gaines and advocating for fairness in women's sports.
On Thursday Ponder tweeted, "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."
I barely said anything publicly abt 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 lost employment/being called hateful. It is not hateful to demand fairness in sports for girls https://t.co/teNoMDWNW4
— Samantha Steele Ponder (@samponder) May 25, 2023
Armour responded by ripping Ponder, "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."
She accused Ponder of "hate, fear and ignorance" as well as "plain old bigotry."
Armour wasn't the only journalist to attack Ponder for her view.
Lindsay 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.)"
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.) https://t.co/koM57a546M
— Lindsay Schnell (@Lindsay_Schnell) May 28, 2023
Alex Azzi, the former NBC sports editor, heaped praise on Amour for her attack of Ponder. "Great column by @nrarmour. Worth your time today."
Great column by @nrarmour. Worth your time today.
“Did (Ponder) publicly participate in any of the many excellent documentaries, videos and commentary ESPN did to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX last year? Or even Tweet about them? No, she did not.” https://t.co/AUq3BoFwWS
— Alex Azzi (@ByAlexAzzi) May 28, 2023
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