LGBT

ESPN Responds To Criticism Of Grantland's "Dr. V" Story

In the statement, the network said it would "use the constructive feedback" it has received when covering "sensitive topics."

Posted on

ESPN issued a statement Sunday in response to continued controversy and criticism over a Jan. 15 Grantland article about a transgender physicist and golf club inventor.

The story in question, "Dr. V's Magical Putter," profiled Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt, the inventor of the Oracle GXI smart putter club — and ultimately outed Vanderbilt as a transgender woman, against her wishes. At the end of the piece, author Caleb Hannan wrote that Vanderbilt killed herself.

Hannan and Grantland — an ESPN publication — faced much criticism in response to the story, both on Twitter and in analyses at several publications, including BuzzFeed. Days later, ESPN made the following statement to Sports Illustrated reporter Richard Deitsch:

"We understand and appreciate the wide range of thoughtful reaction this story has generated and to the family and friends of Essay Anne Vanderbilt, we express our deepest condolences. We will use the constructive feedback to continue our ongoing dialogue on these important and sensitive topics. Ours is a company that values the LGBT community internally and in our storytelling, and we will all learn from this."

Tony Merevick reports on national LGBT news for BuzzFeed. He has covered LGBT community news and politics since 2010 and joined BuzzFeed in 2013.

Contact Tony Merevick at tony.merevick+DONE@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.