Gabrielle Ludwig, the 50-year-old transgender college basketball player who returned to college basketball after 32 years away, has been openly mocked by a pair of hosts on an ESPN-affiliated radio station.
Ludwig made headlines last week when she returned to play women’s college basketball as a post-op transsexual. When she previously played as an 18-year-old in 1980, Gabrielle Ludwig was a male named Robert Ludwig.
Ludwig’s obvious courage led many to praise her move, holding her up as an example of bravery in the face of LGBT prejudice.
Unfortunately, not everybody has moved on from the 1930s. Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin, a pair of homophobic cowards who host a radio show on ESPN Radio/Washington D.C., have been suspended after they made some pretty disgraceful remarks about Gabrielle Ludwig on their show last Thursday.
Referring to Gabrielle Ludwig as “he/she” (before settling on “it”), the dense duo spent almost three minutes cracking caveman-level remarks about Ludwig’s appearance, before Czaban (bravely, from behind the safety of his microphone) sanctimoniously opined:
“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 got the rights of everyone else.’ “
The remarks resulted in Outsports, a gay sports outlet, calling for the suspension of Czaban and Pollin:
“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. These men are a disgrace to their profession, and they should be suspended without pay.”
On Wednesday, the outlet’s wish was granted. In a statement released through Outsports, ESPN revealed the pair had been yanked from the air, a last-minute apology on Monday failing to save them:
“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.”
You can hear Czaban and Pollin’s frankly embarrassing remarks about Gabrielle Ludwig below. May it be a long, long time before we hear from these clueless jocks again: