Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Around The Nation

District Of Columbia
ESPN Radio Hosts Call Trans B-Ball Player "It" GLAAD & Outsports Demand Sincere & Complete Apology
WASHINGTON -- Washington D. C. based ESPN 980 radio hosts Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin issued a brief on air apology Tuesday, for remarks made in a segment on their "Sports Reporters" show last Thursday, during which they called Gabrielle Ludwig, 50, a transgender female who plays basketball on a women's junior college team, "it," and other belittling comments.
Aaron McQuade, Director of News and Field Media at GLAAD noted the apology but called the pair out for failure to address the remainder of the segment's coverage which he defined as "offensive."
Chuck Sapienza, vice president for programming for the station said that Pollin and Czaban had "made remarks that were extremely insensitive and their actions were dealt with internally in a swift manner. Due to the language of their contracts we are not allowed to comment publicly on any disciplinary actions."
McQuade had noted that while the station's management at ESPN 980 responded quickly to GLAAD, outreach, "[...] with a clear understanding of why the content that aired last week was so offensive," he added, "[the apology] fell far short of the goal." 
Ludwig was the subject of a lengthy piece that appeared in USA Today last Wednesday. 
The following day, the article was brought up by Pollin on the show which featured Czaban, Pollin and Maryland basketball analyst Chris Knoche.
Pollin introduced the segment talking about the USA Today story, and when he revealed that Ludwig was transgender, Steve Czaban audibly groaned, after which the three  discussed Ludwig's appearance and mocked the picture of her that appeared with the article. Czaban stated later in the segment; "Don't go playing sports saying 'But I've got the rights of 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."
From the broadcast:
Czaban: "What's the net net of the story? Because I'm not going to read it."
Pollin: "Well, the net net is, you know she's ... she/he has had a lot of problems in his/her life..."
Czaban: "I think 'it' is the politically correct term..."
Pollin: "...Whatever it is, and this basketball is helping him/her transform his/her life into a better life, such as it is."
The story was broken by the LGBTQ website OutSports which is now calling for the pair to be suspended. The site argues the pair should be suspended because "these are disgusting remarks ... meant to demean another human being who has broken no laws and no rules."