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Senator Kennedy Slams Media After Op-Ed on Trans Athletes Is Secretly Deleted

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Several newspapers in Louisiana, part of the Gannett-owned USA Today network, quietly deleted an op-ed by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., on transgender athletes without informing him. The piece criticized the inclusion of biological men in women’s sports and was deemed “inflammatory” and not in line with company standards, as per communications reviewed by Fox News.

Gannett’s Opinion Editor and Vice President of Standards and Ethics, Michael McCarter, defended the removal of Kennedy’s op-ed. McCarter stated, “The opinion teams across the USA TODAY Network are focused on delivering local, timely, relevant, and diverse opinion pieces. We recognize the importance of sharing varying perspectives and the vital role we play in 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.”

Upon being contacted by Fox News Digital for a comment, Gannett added a disclaimer to the broken links, indicating that the content had been removed for not meeting editorial standards.

In response, Kennedy expressed his dissatisfaction to Fox News Digital, stating, “USA TODAY Network apparently does not like the way I express myself. 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.”

Kennedy’s op-ed, titled “Is transgender inclusion more important than women’s sports?” was published on May 11 in eight Louisiana-based papers. The piece began with an analogy involving New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson playing in a youth league, highlighting the physical advantages of biological men over women in sports. Kennedy argued that allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports undermines fairness and safety for female athletes.

The op-ed, which outlined the physical differences between men and women and cited examples of trans athletes in women’s sports, was initially published without issue. However, by May 14, Kennedy’s office discovered the links to the op-ed were broken. Attempts to get clarity from Gannett were initially met with vague responses, but eventually, Kennedy’s office was told that the piece was removed for containing “inflammatory speech.”

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