ESPN’s contentious coverage of Lia Thomas has alienated not just fans, but also its greatest talent.
Charly Arnolt, the host of a new OutKick program in the works, slammed ESPN for their “hypocritical” homage, calling it a “slap in the face” to women worldwide.
The problem is that ESPN constantly makes a big fuss about keeping politics out of their programming. And then, during Women’s Month, they felt it was okay to screen a one-minute-long homage to biological male swimmer Lia Thomas, which she just thought to be incredibly hypocritical, Arnolt stated during an interview on “Varney & Co.”
And it’s a huge slap in the face to her as a woman that during Women’s Month, when there are so many amazing female athletes to be honored, they turn to the most controversial figure in sports right now, Lia Thomas—a man—to be celebrated.
Arnolt said that as an ESPN reporter, she felt “stifled” and was hesitant to speak out on issues that did not “fit within the narrative.”
There are a lot of issues that she feels she needs to speak up about. She wasn’t in a place where it was allowed, where she felt comfortable even speaking out even if it was permitted since it didn’t fit within the ESPN narrative, she told presenter Stuart Varney.
During the 2021–22 season, Thomas’ participation in NCAA women’s swimming ignited a growing discussion about the equality of transgender women competing against biological females. In the 500 freestyle, she became the first transgender woman to win an Ivy League championship and then an NCAA championship.
The former ESPN reporter reaffirmed her stance on transgender athletes in sports, claiming that males transitioning to women should “absolutely not” compete against women.
Arnolt said that there was actually a comment made by Lia Thomas stating that it is transphobic of women to speak out against this when really women have no responsibility to back Lia Thomas or other trans athletes since, as she said before, it is a slap in the face as a woman.
She added that, quite truthfully, she thinks it needs to avoid giving such power to these slurs coming from the left, like the word ‘transphobic,’ since truly, if standing up for women means that she is transphobic, then one can call her transphobic all day long.
Arnolt promised that she would never stop standing up for women and the achievements that they have fought so long and hard for.