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Transgender Sports Policy
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN; 10 a.m. ET, ESPN2)
When Fallon Fox made headlines as the first openly transgender MMA athlete, she sparked a national discussion about transgender participation in sports. But it’s a discussion that extends beyond the professional level. More than 30 states and the District of Columbia have a policy in place (some more restrictive than others) that addresses transgender student-athlete participation on the high school level. Kelly Naqi spent some time with two transgender athletes in very different circumstances.
“I knew if I wanted to comfortably play on a team, I would have to come out to everyone, and that was a little nerve wracking. It’s putting myself out there and saying, ‘please accept me.’” — Leo Eichfeld, 14-year-old swimmer
“To me, it’s our simple human rights. I should not have to try to fight my way to be able to play on a certain kind of team, just because I’m a little different.” — Shay Sullivan, 15-year-old multi-sport athlete
The world of Mixed Martial Arts is full of tough guys – fighters who believe their skills in the ring would translate to the streets. But one fighter in Seattle has decided to use his fighting skills for a whole new purpose: fighting crime. Ben Fodor, once a dominating amateur fighter on his way to MMA fame, found his life changed forever following a chance encounter. Since then, in great style, he’s dedicated himself to making the streets of Seattle safer for all.
“You can question whether I’m sane, you can question whether I’m actually effective, you can question whether the word superhero is the right word. But you can’t question that there is a guy in a suit, running around, actively stopping crime. You can’t question it anymore.” — Ben Fodor, on the effect he is having on crime
“I think Ben could have made it to the bigs, the NFL of MMA, which is the UFC. I poured three or four years into him, got him on TV a couple of times, and then he throws it all away to go run around and protect capitol hill.” — Aric Wiseman, Fodor’s MMA trainer, on throwing away a possible MMA career
“It’s not something that we sanction as a department. It’s not something we authorize in any way, shape or form. But this is Seattle and Seattle is a very unique city.” — Sean Whitcomb, Seattle Police Department spokesman, on how the department views Fodor’s
After a controversial transfer, Leticia Romero was supposed to sit out this season at Florida State. Instead, the sophomore guard was granted eligibility in December, and has had an immediate impact on her new team. Mechelle Voepel reports.
Jeremy Schaap; guest host
William C. Rhoden
*Subject to change
ESPN received four Gracie Awards this week from the Alliance for Women In Media Foundation (AWMF) which annually honors exemplary women and men in the media and entertainment industry – individuals who are pioneers in their respective fields and lead by example. ESPN recipients were Outside the Lines, espnW, ESPN Films and Robin Roberts.
- Outstanding Special or Variety
The November 11 prime time special hosted by Bob Ley highlighted ESPN’s extensive reporting on the subject of domestic violence, featuring reporting by Kelly Naqi, John Barr, Steve Delsohn and Mark Fainaru-Wada.
“Outside the Lines wanted to produce this special so our audience could better understand the impact domestic violence has on the victims, the perpetrators, the teams and the leagues,” said ESPN senior coordinating producer Dwayne Bray. “We’re pleased the stories and discussion we presented enhanced our audience’s understanding of the issue.”
- Outstanding Online Host or Correspondent
espnW’s In the Game with Robin Roberts is a series of intimate interviews with some of the most newsworthy athletes in sports today hosted by Roberts, a former ESPN SportsCenter anchor and current Good Morning America host.
Nine for IX Shorts (ESPN Films)
- Outstanding Online Programming- News/Documentary
Nine for IX is a documentary series focused on captivating stories of women in sports told through the lens of female filmmakers.
- Outstanding Interview Program or Feature
Jemele Hill and Cari Champion examined the NFL’s recent handling of violent crimes and more with Jane McManus, Kate Fagan, Sarah Spain and NOW president Terry O’Neill.