ESPN veteran sports reporter M.A. Voepel comes out as Trans

Award-winning sports journalist M.A. Voepel has come out as Trans in a heartfelt tweet saying he's "glad to be who I’ve always been inside."

A split screen of M.A. Voepel and the ESPN logo. Voepel came out as Trans in a heartfelt tweet earlier this week.
Image: @MAVoepel via Twitter

The much loved ESPN reporter M.A. Voepel has come out as Trans. In an emotional tweet he began, “In sports media, we’re lucky to tell stories of others’ journeys. We have our own, too. Part of mine is being transgender, and I’m transitioning to male.”

Voepel’s decision to come out about his transition was prompted by the announcement by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame that he is to be awarded the Gowdy Media Award for his leading journalism in reporting women’s college and pro basketball.

After declaring his preferred pronouns and names, he wrote, “I have the great honour of receiving Gowdy Award next month from Naismith Hall of Fame, and wanted to do that as authentic self, hence this announcement now. Fear can keep us paralyzed for decades, especially when we think we will lose all that is dear to us, including [our] career”.

The award-winning 48-year-old journalist, who has been a leading reporter with the ESPN sports channel for 20 years, continued his Twitter thread by recognising the support he has received from the company.

“At some point, you realize you need to have faith that your happiness/well-being is worth pursuing, and also have faith in other people’s kindness and grace. Grateful for a company that supports all of its employees, for terrific family and friends, and for societal progress”.

His tweets immediately garnered support from fans and colleagues alike with fellow ESPN women’s basketball writer Alex Philippou tweeting, “Proud to be teammates with you, Voepel.”

Following on from Philippou, ESPN’s NBA writer Kevin Pelton wrote, “Glad that after compassionately helping so many athletes tell the stories of their authentic selves, you now feel supported to do so yourself ahead of this well-earned moment.”

Voepel concluded by assuring fans that his Trans identity would not impact his work or his passion for women’s sports.

“I may look and sound a little different. Glad to be who I’ve always been inside. Dedication to covering women’s sports, a lifelong joy as well as job, and admiration for all involved – players, coaches, execs, fans, referees, colleagues – that stays exactly the same. Thanks!”

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