A sports columnist calls ESPN's Sam Ponder's support for gender equality in sports "plain old bigotry."

ESPN announcer Sam Ponder came under fire on Sunday when an opinion essay by USA Today's Nancy Armour criticized her support for keeping women's sports fair and equal.

Ponder and another ESPN colleague Sage Steele have both expressed their support for Riley Gaines,

who has taken the lead in advocating for transgender athletes to compete in sports against the gender they were born as rather than the gender they identify with.

Gaines has been at the forefront since she tied for first place with Lia Thomas in the 2022 NCAA Championship.

Ponder recently addressed the matter once more after Gaines posted about the messages she received concerning transgender high school runners competing in the females division in California.

"I barely said anything publicly about this issue, and I've had so many people message me, stop me in the street,

and tell me stories about girls who are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs or being labeled as hateful." 

"It is not hateful to demand gender equality in sports," Ponder tweeted. In her piece, Armour, however, termed Ponder's statements "plain old bigotry."