USA Today Shredded After Changing Story From Girl Forced to Compete Against Biological Males

AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File

On May 22, USA Today ran an opinion piece from Chelsea Mitchell. Mitchell is a star track athlete in college who wrote about how she was ranked the fastest high school female in Connecticut in the 55-meter dash in 2020.

Mitchell wrote in the piece about the unfairness she experienced in having to compete against transgender athletes, that as a consequence she lost four state championship titles and other awards. We’ve previously covered some of Mitchell’s legal fight.

When she wrote her opinion piece in the USA Today, she referred to the transgender athletes as “male” or “biological male.”

But then, USA Today retroactively changed what she wrote without telling her on May 25, changing references to “male” to “transgender.” So when she wrote “there’s a runner on the line with an enormous advantage: a male body.” USA Today changed it to read “there’s a transgender runner on the line with an enormous physical advantage” without defining what that “advantage” was. She wrote that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) “allows biological males to compete in girls’ and women’s sports.” That was changed to “the CIAC allows transgender athletes to compete in girls’ and women’s sports.”

When USA Today changed the language, they put in an “Editor’s note.” “This column has been updated to reflect USA TODAY’s standards and style guidelines. We regret that hurtful language was used.” What was the “hurtful language?” Apparently using the term “male” or “biological male.”

Her attorneys, Alliance Defending Freedom, believe it was changed because of pressure and they accuse USA Today of unethical editing.

Those “updates” changed the meaning of what she was trying to say. But in a way, it also proved her point about the unfairness. She isn’t even allowed to have her own opinion on the subject without it being cut down. The unfairness is extending even beyond the track.

This isn’t the first time that USA Today has done such ‘after the fact’ edits of opinion pieces. As we previously reported, they allowed Stacey Abrams to stealth edit a piece that she’d written. They later apologized for not including an editor’s note. But it shows that there’s some seriously flawed editing going on there, in addition to the improper suppression of Mitchell’s opinion.