Mechelle Voepel is no more at ESPN. She isn’t leaving her job, but she is transitioning to something else.
On Tuesday, the ESPN writer and insider took to Twitter to reintroduce himself.
“In sports media, we’re lucky to tell stories of others’ journeys,” Voepel wrote. “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.”
According to the ESPN Press Room bio, Voepel first joined the Worldwide Leader in 1996 as a women’s college and pro basketball writer.
“I have the great honor of receiving Gowdy Award next month from Naismith Hall of Fame, and wanted to do that as authentic self, hence this announcement now,” Voepel continued in his statement. “Fear can keep us paralyzed for decades, especially when we think we will lose all that is dear to us, including career.
“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. Grateful for a company that supports all of its employees, for terrific family and friends, and for societal progress.
“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!”
Immediately following his announcement, several ESPN personalities congratulated him, which included T.J. Quinn, who wrote, “Proud to have you as a colleague.”
The WNBA added in a tweet, “Congrats MV sending all of our best.”
Voepel graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism in 1987 and has become a mainstay at Women’s Final Fours for over two decades.