The decade's most triggering comedy
ESPN’s Samantha Ponder, bucking the trend at her network, spoke out against the inclusion of biological men in women’s sports.
ESPN — which included Thomas in its celebration of Women’s History Month in March — has been supportive of the transgender movement for years, firing baseball legend Curt Schilling in 2016 after he slammed critics of state laws that forbid men and women from using bathrooms for the opposite sex. “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves,” Schilling wrote. “I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
Ponder, referring to the Biden administration’s position that banning men from women’s sports would violate Title IX restrictions, tweeted, “This would take away so many opportunities for biological women and girls in sports. It is a shame that we are needing to fight for the integrity of Title IX in 2023 and the reason it was needed in the first place. #savewomenssports.”
This would take away so many opportunities for biological women and girls in sports. It is a shame that we are needing to fight for the integrity of Title IX in 2023 and the reason it was needed in the first place. #savewomensports https://t.co/5Ufeha2emq
— Samantha Steele Ponder (@samponder) April 19, 2023
Ponder is the second woman at the network to criticize men in women’s sports. In March, ESPN anchor Sage Steele ripped the decision to allow men to compete in the women’s division of USA Powerlifting.
“Unfair to women. And the irony of this decision being made during Women’s History Month …” Steele tweeted. “The hypocrisy continues”
Yes. Unfair to women.
And the irony of this decision being made during Women's History Month……
The hypocrisy continues….. https://t.co/wBYfer8rQF
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) March 6, 2023
Ponder and Steele join All-American swimmer Riley Gaines, who has become the de facto leader of the opposition to men in women’s sports. This week, Gaines lashed out at rival Lia Thomas after the transgender-identifying athlete complained that “trans kids lose out on opportunities” because many states and athletic bodies have barred biological males from competing against females.
In an appearance on “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” Gaines, a former University of Kentucky star, cited the words of Thomas, who competed for the University of Pennsylvania men’s team before switching to the women’s team. Gaines, who has become increasingly outspoken in the cause for protecting female athletes from unfair competition, said it is men posing as women who are stealing opportunities.
“Lia Thomas [was] quoted saying, you know, ‘It breaks my heart to see trans kids lose out on opportunities,” Gaines told Morgan. “Replace that with word ‘woman.’ Does it still break Thomas’s heart to see women lose out on opportunities? Because that’s what’s happening.”
Thomas last year tied Gaines for fifth-place in the NCAA finals of the women’s 200-meter race, but it was Thomas who was initially awarded the medal. Gaines believes that decision was part of the NCAA’s effort to promote Thomas.
“From my experience competing against Lia Thomas at the national championships, I watched first-hand women lose out on opportunities,” Gaines said. “I watched women not become All-Americans, missing that eighth and 16th place by one place because they were displaced by a male. This, of course, goes against everything that Title IX was created to protect and now we have the Biden administration, the people in the White House, who are actively working to rewrite Title IX.”