Letters: On Women's Boxing

Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish read emails from listeners about a segment on a female boxer in Flint, Michigan.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's time now for your letters and plenty of our listeners had something to say about our story on Claressa Shields. The 16-year-old from Flint, Michigan is hoping to represent the U.S. when women's boxing makes its Olympic debut in London this summer.

On Monday, we aired a lengthy audio diary of her struggle to make the team - too lengthy, some thought. William Bixby(ph) of Charlestown, West Virginia writes, why are you wasting so much time on an audio diary of a teenage female boxer? Your descent into pandering to the young is getting beyond unbelievable.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Mr. Bixby continues, there is so much going on in the world that could use more explanation, insight and coverage, but instead, we're subjected to this nonsense for more than 15 minutes.

CORNISH: And Larry Robinson(ph) of Arlington, Virginia writes, I get it that women's boxing is a new sport, new to the Olympics, at least, otherwise not. I have nothing against Claressa and wish her well, but more on her than on Syria and the presidential campaign combined? Where are your priorities?

SIEGEL: Well, not all of you shared that view. Jimmy Lamensa(ph) in Houston writes this. I started out thinking, good grief, this story is long, but by the time it ended, I was crying and clapping my hands. I felt somewhat detached from the 2012 Olympics until today. I know without a doubt that I'll be rooting for Claressa.

CORNISH: Finally, Liza Epps(ph) of Santa Monica, California writes, when I was growing up, I felt I was branded as tomboyish and, at times, unfeminine for wanting to play sports, which is wrong. Young women need to hear more about role models like Claressa. I applaud NPR on this special interest story. I will be following Claressa as far as she can go and it sounds like she might actualize that dream of hers and wear gold.

SIEGEL: Well, thanks for all of your letters. To write to us, go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us.

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