Veteran ESPN reporter says she is transitioning to a man and goes by ‘M.A.’ Voepel, with male pronouns

Award-winning ESPN reporter Mechelle Voepel announced on Tuesday she is transitioning from female to male and will be adopting the name “M.A. Voepel” and using male pronouns.

“In sports media, we’re lucky to tell stories of others’ journeys,” Voepel tweeted Tuesday. “We have our own, too. Part of mine is being transgender, and I’m transitioning to male. Byline now M.A. Voepel, pronouns he/him. Please feel free to call me Voepel, MV, Michael, Mike; I’m good with them all.”

“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 …”

“I may look and sound a little different,” Voepel wrote. “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!”

Voepel joined ESPN in 1996 covering women’s college basketball and later the WNBA. Having covered 20 consecutive Women’s Final Fours, Voepel is considered among colleagues to be one of the best and most trusted reporters in sports.

Voepel is due to receive the 2022 Curt Gowdy award for print media from the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts alongside fellow recipients New York Knicks broadcaster Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier and long-time NBC executive Dick Ebersol.

“I am really appreciative of the honor because it has been such a big part of my life to help chronicle the growth of women’s basketball,” Voepel told ESPN. “I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to witness that, and work with others who also care about it so much.”

Fellow sportswriters and broadcasters were unsurprisingly congratulatory …

… but there were naturally some detractors as well.

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