Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin of Washington D.C.’s 980 AM ESPN Radio went into a vile, transphobic rant last Thursday over transgender college basketball player Gabrielle Ludwig, referring to her as “it” and criticizing her appearance.
- They said transgender people should not be allowed to play sports. ”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 go the rights of everyone else.’”
- They make fun of Ludwig’s appearance, including her biceps and tattoos. Clearly reacting to photographs, they expressed deep-seeded disgust at her appearance. “That could be a Russian chick,” they said as they cackled.
- They referred to her as “he/she” and as “it.” “I think ‘it’ is the politically correct term.”
Helen Carroll of the National Center for Lesbian Rights said Czaban’s and Pollin’s comments were “horrific” and showed “a level of disrespect and harmful rhetoric that is inexcusable.”
“Unfortunately, the many transgender sports participants I have had the privilege to work with, are not shielded from hateful people such as Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin,” Carroll said in a statement. ” I would think that a sports network that espouses respect for LGBT people will see the harm that is occurring with this rant, be forthcoming with an apology and take immediate action against these two so-called sports radio professionals.”
Czaban and Pollin issued a 10-second apology on Monday but Outsports is calling for their suspension:
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.
980 AM Vice President for Programming Chuck Sapienza said Monday that Pollin and Czaban “were dealt with internally in a swift manner” but their contracts preclude him from publicly commenting “on any disciplinary actions.”