Clay Travis is Your Fault
ESPN's avoidance of stories like Lia Thomas fuels the Outkick Machine
Are you the reason your villain exists? That was my main thought when I saw Outkick the Coverage doing post after post on Internet-famous transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.
Clay Travis’ outlet was early and often on a story that ESPN and other prestige outlets simply refused to cover. It started two months ago, with a post by Joe Kinsey titled, in tabloidy ALL CAPS Outkick style, “PENN SWIMMER WHO COMPETED AS A MALE FOR THREE SEASONS NOW DOMINATING WOMEN’S SWIMMING.” The next Kinsey article was a followup titled, “TRANSGENDER PENN SWIMMER SETS ANOTHER RECORD, HAS FASTEST FEMALE 500M TIME IN THE NATION.”
Perhaps a biological male competing in collegiate women’s swimming isn’t a national story on its own, but once records are set? Ya, it’s hard to deny that this was news, and fascinating news at that. What does this mean? Where are we headed? Will this become commonplace?
Yet ESPN and other major outlets were silent as Outkick kept hammering away at this one, with articles and with Travis’ video commentary. And it was eye-catching stuff, even to someone like myself, who doesn’t give a shit about swimming.