USA Today edited an op-ed from a female track runner and appeared to apologize that the athlete used the words “male” and “biological male” to refer to transgender competitors.
The op-ed was penned by Chelsea Mitchell, a collegiate runner at The College of William & Mary. Her piece focused on the issue of policies that allow transgender athletes to participate in girls’ and women’s sports. Mitchell noted that she herself has lost multiple high school state titles and awards to transgender athletes in competitions in Connecticut.
“I’m running in the state championship, and I’m ranked the fastest high school female in the 55-meter dash in the state. I should be feeling confident,” the op-ed on the USA Today website reads. “Instead, all I can think about is how all my training, everything I’ve done to maximize my performance, might not be enough, simply because there’s a transgender runner on the line with an enormous physical advantage.”
But, that’s not the original line in Mitchell’s op-ed. She wrote that “everything I’ve done to maximize my performance, might not be enough, simply because there’s a runner on the line with an enormous physical advantage: a male body.”
The USA Today changed all 12 instances where Mitchell referred to transgender athletes as “male” and “biological male.”
You can find her original op-ed on the Alliance Defending Freedom’s website here.
The publication added an editor’s note to the op-ed that reads: “Editor’s note: This column has been updated to reflect USA TODAY’s standards and style guidelines. We regret that hurtful language was used.”
Worth noting: Mitchell is one of the female athletes that sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for their decision to allow transgender athletes to compete in girl’s sports. A federal district judge recently dismissed their lawsuit on procedural grounds.
The lawsuit came after two transgender athletes won fifteen state track titles in the girls’ category.
An ADF lawyer, who represents the female track runners in their lawsuits over CIAC’s rules, slammed USA Today’s move.
“USA Today violated its principles to appease the mob. This blatant censorship violates the trust we place in media to be honest brokers of public debate,” said ADF lawyer Christiana Holcomb.
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