USA Today columnist Nancy Armour wrote over 800 words this Memorial Day Weekend attacking ESPN host Sam Ponder. What did Ponder do to upset Armour that much? Ponder had the audacity to call for “fairness” in women’s sports.
It’s getting difficult to track all the things that make one a “bigot” in 2023. But, apparently, it’s time to add wanting “fairness” in sports to the list.
“Don’t be fooled by the people who screech about ‘fairness’ to cloak their bigotry toward transgender girls and women, the transgender girls and women who have the audacity to want to play sports, in particular,” Armour’s USA Today column begins.
“This is, and always was, about hate, fear and ignorance.”
She starts with a general attack on anyone who doesn’t think biological men should compete against biological women in women’s sports. We’re afraid, hateful and ignorant. OK, Nancy.
Then, she gets into the person specifically triggering her this weekend. I say “this weekend” because Nancy Armour is triggered frequently.
“ESPN’s Samantha Ponder is the latest to tell on herself, using a tweet by anti-trans activist Riley Gaines to ‘fight for the integrity of Title IX’ and then patting herself on the back for her ‘support’ of women’s sports,” Armour writes.
Important note right off the bat: Riley Gaines is not an “anti-trans” activist. That’s Armour changing the language to fit her agenda.
Gaines competed against a biological male swimmer in college. The NCAA forced her to change clothes in front of that same athlete — who was naked with “intact” male anatomy — after the NCAA made locker rooms unisex.
She’s not “anti-trans,” she’s “pro-woman.” It’s funny that Armour has such a problem with Gaines, given that Armour fancies herself very “pro-woman.”
Additionally, it’s ironic that Armour accuses Ponder of “telling on herself.” Armour is using name-calling and ad hominem attacks.
She’s the one telling on herself. People who don’t have logical or rational arguments use personal attacks to take down opponents.
Armour goes on to discuss an array of unrelated issues facing women’s sports. Some of what she says has some merit.
But this is the same deflection that Megan Rapinoe and her ilk recently used. Essentially, “there are other problems to deal with, so let’s not worry about this one.”
But these aren’t mutually exclusive items. Stopping biological men who identify as women from competing in female sports doesn’t mean organizations have to stop fighting for progress in other areas.
It’s very “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” Literally.
Then, Armour goes on to bring up other Ponder tweets. She compares Ponder’s social media posts with Jemele Hill’s tweets about former President Donald Trump. She implies that ESPN had a problem with but not Ponder.
That’s not accurate. ESPN did not punish Hill for her tweets about Donald Trump. They punished her for attacking the NFL, its biggest and most important partner. ESPN said nothing of her incendiary political tweets.
So, that’s a false equivalency argument from Armour that holds no place in this discussion. Armour doesn’t have the science or data to support her argument, so she uses logical fallacies like that one.
But back to her attack on Sam Ponder, because she wasn’t done yet.
“Yes, it takes real courage for a woman with an inordinate amount of privilege to pile on a group that is already among the most vulnerable in our society,” Armour’s USA Today column reads.
The issue at hand is biological men are taking athletic opportunities away from women. According to people like Armour, aren’t men more privileged than women?
And, in that case, isn’t allowing a biological man to take a spot away from a woman — thanks to an unfair advantage in size, strength and speed — the ultimate use of that privilege?
Armour uses a straw man fallacy to discredit opponents
“Ponder endangers these already in-peril people by further amplifying the bogeyman that cisgender women’s participation in sports is being threatened by transgender girls and young women,” Armour continues.
“To be clear: It is not. Boys and young men are not waking up in the morning and deciding to transition so they can a win a race that afternoon. In the decade-plus the NCAA and International Olympic Committee have had protocols and policies for the participation of transgender athletes, a tiny number have competed and an even smaller number have made it to the podium.”
This is a straw man argument. No one is saying that a boy “wakes up in the morning” and “decides to transition so they can win a race that afternoon.” It might be a very small number that actually do that.
I spoke to Valerie McClain of ICONS for a previous piece and she told me that “if you allow a male to invade the space of a group of females, that male will be dominant. And that male will displace a female … If one male displaces one female, that is a threat [to women’s sports].”
But, in Armour’s world, that male — who wants to be a female — should have his needs, right and feelings put ahead of those women.
That seems like a pretty sexist thought, doesn’t it? To put the man’s needs ahead of the woman’s?
All of this comes back to a simple notion, and I’ll quote the great Adam Carolla because he said it better than I can.
“It’s called the Progressive Movement. Both words indicate that there are no plans for it to ever stop,” Carolla said.
That’s exactly true. There’s almost nothing left to fight against. Everyone in America has equal rights under the law.
The government and corporations are forbidden to discriminate against individuals and even afford special protections based on sex, religion, race, and other important categories.
But that’s how the Progressive Movement continues to “progress” and “move” forward. Yet, they consistently move society backwards.
Transgender movement is simply the latest issue for Progressives to use to turn themselves into heroes
That’s what is taking place with this transgender movement. Gay people have all the same rights as straight people, so they needed to move on to something new.
It started with, “if a man wants to wear a dress, or a woman wants to wear a suit, we should allow that.”
And, the majority of Americans agreed with that.
Then, it became if someone wants to have cosmetic surgery to appear more like the opposite sex, we should allow him or her to do so.
Again, most Americans — myself included — subscribe to the “live and let live” credo. If that’s what you want to do, feel free. This is America. It’s a free country.
I feel that way about almost everything. As long as you’re not infringing upon other people, you should be free to do as you choose, within reason.
But that last piece is so critical. Because those people ARE infringing upon other American citizens. A boy beating a girl in sports — in the girl’s division — is an infringement upon the girl.
No longer is that person just “living their truth,” but they are affecting the lives of others.
Believing that to be wrong does not make one a “transphobe.” It means that person appreciates fairness.
I know Nancy Armour and USA Today think that makes us “bigots.”
But that makes the majority of Americans “bigots.” And that’s exactly what Armour and her group want. They need something to push against.
They need to label everyone else a “bigot” so they can “progress” their “movement” forward.
It’s never going to stop.
Unless we stand up and stop it.
Good for Sam Ponder, because she’s putting her foot down. More people need to do the same.
Enough is enough.