Mechelle Voepel, a reporter with ESPN since 1996, has announced that she is transgender and will be transitioning from female to male and also changing her name.
Voepel’s decision to transition at this time was made in advance of receiving the Gowdy Award next month at the Naismith Hall of Fame. ESPN’s longtime employee announced the name change and transition in a series of tweets Tuesday. The reporter’s new name is M.A. Voepel.
M.A. Voepel (c/o ESPN)
“In sports media, we’re lucky to tell stories of others’ journeys. We have our own, too. Part of mine is being transgender, and I’m transitioning to male,” Voepel tweeted. “Byline now M.A. Voepel, pronouns he/him. Please feel free to call me Voepel, MV, Michael, Mike; I’m good with them all.”
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 …
— M.A. Voepel (@MAVoepel) August 9, 2022
Since starting at ESPN Voepel has mainly covered volleyball, women’s basketball and the WNBA.
On Tuesday, Voepel concluded a thread of tweets by stating: “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!”
In response to Voepel’s transition announcement, the WNBA tweeted its congratulations.
Congrats MV sending all of our best 🧡
— WNBA (@WNBA) August 9, 2022
Voepel will be acknowledged during Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend in September.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF