ESPN Reporter Comes Out As Transgender

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Since 1996, Mechelle Voepel has worked as an ESPN reporter. Recently, she came out as transgender and stated that she will be changing her name and gender.

Voepel decided to switch now in anticipation of earning the Gowdy Award at the Naismith Hall of Fame next month. In a series of tweets on Tuesday, a veteran employee of ESPN disclosed the name change and transfer. The reporter now goes by the name M.A. Voepel.

“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. Byline now M.A. Voepel, pronouns he/him. Please feel free to call me Voepel, MV, Michael, Mike; I’m good with them all.”

Voepel has mostly covered the WNBA, women’s basketball, and volleyball since joining ESPN.

“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!” Voepel wrote at the end of a series of tweets on Tuesday.

The WNBA tweeted its congrats in response to Voepel’s announcement of her transition.

During the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend in September, Voepel will be recognized.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit organization with a location in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was created. Its mission is to promote, preserve, and honor the game of basketball at all levels for men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches, and contributors, both domestically and internationally.