Veteran ESPN reporter comes out as trans: ‘At some point, you realise happiness is worth pursuing’

ESPN reporter MA Voepel wears a blue button up shirt with a dark tie as he stares at the camera

ESPN basketball reporter has bravely come out as trans after realising his happiness was “worth pursuing”.

Voepel decided to come out ahead of receiving the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award in September. The prestigious gong is given to members of the media whose efforts make a significant contribution to basketball. 

Voepel shared on Twitter on Tuesday (9 August) that he wanted to receive the “great” honour as his “authentic self”.

He said reporters in sports media are “lucky to tell stories of others’ journeys”, and that he wanted to share new aspects of his own journey like his pronouns and name.

“Fear can keep us paralysed for decades, especially when we think we will lose all that is dear to us, including career…,” he said.

“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.”

MA Voepel added he was grateful for a “terrific family and friends”, “societal progress” and to work for a company that “supports all its employees”. He joined ESPN in 1996 and has dedicated his prolific career to telling the stories of women’s basketball. 

Several personalities, organisations and teams from across the sporting world congratulated Voepel for his bravery.

According to ESPN, MA Voepel is the “foremost authority” on women’s basketball in both collegiate and professional ranks, and he has attended more than 20 consecutive Women’s Final Fours.

MA Voepel wrote that he “may look and sound a little different” now, but he is “glad to be who [he’s] always been on the 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,” he added. 


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