QUEER VOICES
12/11/2012 11:44 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Transgender Player Gabrielle Ludwig Mocked By ESPN Radio Hosts; Outlet Calls For Their Suspension (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin were temporarily suspended from hosting their show, USA Today reported late Tuesday.

A gay sports outlet has called for the suspension of ESPN Radio/Washington D.C. hosts Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin for mocking transgender college basketball player Gabrielle Ludwig. (Hear the segment above.)

Ludwig, 50, of Fremont, Calif., earned national attention last week when she made her debut for Mission College in the Bay Area 32 years after playing as a man in college. (Watch the video below.)

Outsports says Czaban and Pollin committed a flagrant foul on their Thursday show, referring to Ludwig as "he/she" and "it" while making snide remarks about her appearance.

The news outlet also cited Czaban's conclusion that transgender athletes should not play sports: ”Whatever you’ve got to do to scratch that inner itch and quell those inner demons, that’s fine," he said. "But don’t go playing sports then. And don’t go playing sports saying, ‘but I’ve go the rights of everyone else.' "

Outsports wrote:

"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."

The two hosts issued a brief apology on Monday. Chuck Sapienza, the station's vice president for programming, told USA Today the hosts' remarks were "extremely insensitive" and dealt with swiftly, but he could not disclose any punishment.

GLAAD noted that the talk-show duo apologized only for calling Ludwig "it," "but failed to address the rest of an extremely offensive segment."

Update: ESPN issued a statement through Outsports: “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.”

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