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This week, ESPN’s Outside the Lines will dive into a hot-button topic – the debate about transgender athletes in women’s sports.

The first of three parts of the feature debuts on Thursday, August 24 during the 1 p.m. ET SportsCenter. The second follows on Friday, August 25, also during the 1 p.m. ET SportsCenter. The final segment airs on both the Saturday, August 26, 7 a.m. and the Monday, August 29, 1 p.m. editions of SportsCenter.

Here’s more from ESPN’s Andy Tennant.

“In the last few years, the subject of the transgender athlete and whether transgender women should be allowed to compete in women’s sports has moved from the periphery of our national dialogue to the mainstream,” said Andy Tennant, ESPN Vice President & Executive Producer, Original Content. “Millions who had never previously given the issue much thought now do. The debate is raging, and it’s become yet another battleground in our culture wars.

“At the heart of the matter there are challenging questions about what constitutes fairness and how to achieve inclusiveness,” he said. “Those are some of the questions we will be addressing in this series.”

The first part is called The Science. Part two is called The Legislation, and the final part is called The Human Experience.

Jeremy Schaap hosts with additional reporting from Katie Barnes and Tisha Thompson.

ESPN described all three parts in their release.

THURSDAY – “The Science”

As sports governing bodies evaluate their transgender athlete inclusion policies, the scientific community has become increasingly relevant to the discussion. Schaap speaks with researchers Tommy Lundberg and Joanna Harper about key physiological and biological elements of the debate, as well as the state of research on transgender athlete performance as a whole.

FRIDAY – “The Legislation”

There are currently 23 states that have passed laws regarding transgender athlete participation, with North Carolina the latest. Outside the Lines and reporter Katie Barnes examine the landscape and report on a family in Missouri impacted by that state’s recent legislation.

SATURDAY – “The Human Experience”

The stories of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who made history last year, and Riley Gaines, who competed against her. Reporter Tisha Thompson interviews Gaines, the outspoken former NCAA All-American for the University of Kentucky who opposes trans women competing in women’s sports.  Thomas, who didn’t respond to ESPN’s recent interview requests, sat down with Barnes in May 2022, in the wake of her NCAA 500 freestyle championship for the University of Pennsylvania.

Following the original airing, the segments will be available on both and ESPN’s YouTube page.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.