ESPN Radio Hosts Disciplined Over Transsexual Jokes

ESPN disciplines radio hosts for jokes about Gabrielle Ludwig

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Dec 13, 2012  |  Updated 2:57 PM PDT
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Gabrielle Ludwing, 50, is a transsexual woman who plays for Mission College in Fremont.

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Woman, 50, is Pioneering Transsexual Basketball Player

College basketball is nothing new for Gabrielle Ludwig, who has played on both women's and men's teams. That's because she is a 50-year-old transsexual playing for a Fremont community college who has become quite the media sensation. Kim Tere reports.
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A pair of ESPN Radio hosts have been temporarily suspended from their jobs for making fun of a Fremont women's basketball player who is transgendered.

Gabrielle Ludwig, 50, a forward for the Mission College women's basketball team, made news when it was revealed that she last played college basketball 30 years ago at Nassau College. That was before the military veteran had gender reassignment surgery.

Ludwig is 6-foot-8 and had her gender reassignment surgery in July. She joined the basketball team on Dec. 1.

Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin spent three minutes poking fun at Ludwig on Dec. 6, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Here are some "highlights":

"Oh my God," Knoche said. "That could be a Russian chick. ... So how does this work? You lose testicles and gain eligibility?"

"The net-net is she/he has had a lot of problems in his/her life ... " Pollin said.

"I think 'it' is the politically correct term," Czaban said.

On Monday, the pair issued a 10-second apology. ESPN went a step further, suspending them on Tuesday.

In interviews with Outsports.com, Ludwig said that the teasing has caused her great mental strain and has even led her to consider quitting the team.

"These two people in Washington, D.C., just tore my life apart, and they don't even know me," Ludwig told the website. "They did it in respect to how I look, how I'm built, the tattoos on my body. They took great pride in humiliating me in the national public. I don't know if I'm supposed to cry or scream or beat them up. It's affecting my sleep; it's affecting my confidence."

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