USA Today Newspapers Quietly Remove Sen. Kennedy’s Op-Ed Calling For Men To Stay Out Of Women’s Sports

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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USA Today’s parent company quietly removed Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy’s op-ed outlining the unfairness of men competing in women’s sports from its newspapers.

Eight Louisiana-based papers owned by USA Today’s parent company, Gannett, ran Kennedy’s column titled, “Is transgender inclusion more important than women’s sports?” on May 11, according to Kennedy’s website. The senator argued that activists want the biological differences between men and women ignored so that male athletes identifying as transgender “can feel included,” even at the expense of harming their female teammates.

“Athletic officials and other adult decision-makers ignored the privacy and dignity of young female athletes to help a biological male/transgender female feel included. They also put women and girls at risk of suffering much more severe injuries than they would typically face when playing against female opponents,” the op-ed reads. “Biological women are more susceptible to injuries than biological men. Female soccer players, for example, are twice as likely to suffer concussions as male soccer players, in part because men have different neck-strength-to-head-size ratios that help them better absorb blows.”

He called on Congress to take more actions to “protect girls, their sports, their scholarships, and their futures from a social experiment.”

Gannett said in a statement to the Daily Caller that the op-ed violated its “ethical guidelines,” stating that the company “will treat people with respect.”

“The opinion teams across the USA TODAY Network are focused on delivering local, timely, relevant, and diverse opinion pieces,” Michael McCarter, Gannett Opinion Editor and Vice President of Standards and Ethics, said. “We recognize the importance of sharing varying perspectives and the vital role we play convening conversations. Sen. John Kennedy’s submitted opinion column did not meet our ethical guidelines, which state we will treat people with respect. After further review, our editorial team removed the column from our website. Sen. Kennedy has been given the opportunity to revise his language – not his viewpoint – to adhere with our standards.”

The now-removed op-ed submitted by Kennedy on The Shreveport Times' website

The now-removed op-ed submitted by Kennedy on The Shreveport Times’ website
[Screenshot/The Shreveport Times]

The outlet further told the Caller it was extending Kennedy the opportunity to “resubmit his column.” It did not respond to the Caller’s follow-up question on why the op-ed was published in the first place if it violated its ethical standards.

“He is welcome to resubmit his column for publication. We stand by our ethical standards and guidelines,” Gannett told the Daily Caller. 

Gannett’s ethical conduct guidelines call on staff to “treat people with respect and compassion” and that journalists will “ensure that they are inclusive and diverse in their use of AI-generated content.” (RELATED: John Kennedy Asks Merrick Garland Point-Blank Why DOJ Let Statute Of Limitations Pass On Hunter Biden) 

The now-removed op-ed by Kennedy on The Daily Comet's website

The now-removed op-ed by Kennedy on The Daily Comet’s website [Screenshot/The Daily Comet] 

The piece detailed the landslide victory of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male who became a Division I national champion in the Women’s Championships, after previously being the #554-ranked swimmer while he competed against men. The piece further noted his female counterparts’ allegations that they were not notified they had to share a locker room with Thomas.

Kennedy said USA Today is the “speech police” and alleged that the organization has veered towards “advocacy” instead of straight reporting, according to Fox News, who first reported on the erased column.

“USA TODAY Network apparently does not like the way I express myself,” Kennedy reportedly said. “They think they are the speech police. Drunk on certainty and virtue, they think they are our moral teacher. This attitude is why so many Americans have lost confidence in the media. The media is not going to win that trust back until they return to neutrality instead of advocacy.

“Most people don’t support allowing biological men to participate in women’s sports because they think that will bastardize sports, skew the results, and hurt women. Other people disagree,” he continued, the outlet reported. “Gannett should simply report the two sides and not try to silence the position it disagrees with.”

A spokesperson for Kennedy confirmed to the Daily Caller that Gannett removed the op-ed.