“Stick to Prescribed Messaging”: Mayo Clinic Suspends Professor for Comments on Trans-Athletes

The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine has joined the growing crackdown on free speech in higher education after suspending Professor Michael Joyner for comments in a 2022 New York Times story. In the story, Joyner maintained that there are differences between biological males and females in sports that give advantages to certain trans-athletes. The school declared that Joyner was guilty of using “ideomatic language” and threatened his termination unless he refrains from public comments in the future without approval from the school.
 Joyner’s told the Times that “you see the divergence immediately as the testosterone surges into the boys” and that these biological realities can produce “dramatic differences in performances.”Notably, that is the view of many athletic organizations. For example, track and field competitions recently adopted restrictions based on similar conclusions.

The faculty was not happy when Joyner was widely quoted for telling the Times that “there are social aspects to sport, but physiology and biology underpin it… testosterone is the 800-pound gorilla.”  As noted  by Inside Higher Ed, the comments were picked up by various other media outlets as part of the ongoing controversy involving swimmer Lia Thomas.

The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine sent him a disciplinary letter that mandated that, in the future, he “vet each individual media request through Public Affairs including follow-up requests; allow them to do their job as they determine what topics are appropriate and are responsible for protecting Mayo Clinic’s brand and reputation… cease engagement in offline conversations with reporters,” and “discuss approved topics only and stick to prescribed messaging.”

Ordering faculty to ” stick to prescribed messaging” raises serious questions of academic freedom and free speech. Yet, while conservative sites have raised concerns, faculty members (including his colleagues at Mayo) are again conspicuously silent.  The  American Association of University Professors (AAUP) should be pursuing this matter with vigor. The 1915 AAUP Declaration called for the protection of both free speech and academic privilege. The Declaration stressed the guarantee of “unfettered discussion” free of the “prescribed inculcation of a particular opinion upon a controverted question.”

Likewise, the influential writer Roscoe Pound long ago objected to the idea that professors should “keep quiet or confine himself to classroom discussion on such subjects seems to me distinctly against the public interest.” He added:

“I do not see why the university professor should be restrained in any way in the discussion of any subject of public interest which comes within the scope of his studies . . . If he conducts his discussion as a scholar should, the fact that at the same time he makes a vigorous and possibly effective presentation of his views to the public ought not to be taken against him . . . In short, I think the scholars in this country have been altogether too meek.”

Mayo’s actions in this case are deeply troubling, and all professors should question the demand to adhere to “prescribed messaging” by an academic institution.

Here is the letter sent to Dr. Joyner.

81 thoughts on ““Stick to Prescribed Messaging”: Mayo Clinic Suspends Professor for Comments on Trans-Athletes”

  1. UAB Patient Portal Login: – The UAB Patient Portal is a cutting-edge online service that facilitates better interaction between patients and their doctors. The patient portal is an integral aspect of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System, providing patients with a safe and easy method to access their medical records, make appointments, contact their care providers, monitor their health, and more.

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  2. Mayo Clinic professors are highly accomplished individuals who typically hold advanced degrees in their respective fields of study. They are experts in their areas of specialization and contribute to the medical community through research, clinical practice, and teaching.


  3. Mayo Clinic professors are highly accomplished individuals who typically hold advanced degrees in their respective fields of study. They are experts in their areas of specialization and contribute to the medical community through research, clinical practice, and teaching.

  4. The left rants about the dangers of “disinformation” – but the worst source of disinformation is the left. Whether it is covid, or climate or the economy, or Russiagate, or pretty much any topic of consequence – the most damaging lies spread publicly originate with the left.

    Area Code

  5. It seems you’re looking for opinions or thoughts on the situation involving Mayo Clinic suspending a professor for comments on trans-athletes. Without additional context or specific questions, it’s challenging to provide thoughts or opinions. However, this is a sensitive and complex topic that involves issues related to transgender rights, sports, and freedom of expression. Opinions on this matter may vary widely.

    If you have specific questions or if you’d like to discuss particular aspects of this situation, please provide more details, and I’ll do my best to assist you in understanding and

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  6. The Mayo Clinic is a renowned medical institution known for its expertise in patient care, research, and education. It employs a wide range of medical professionals, including professors, who play significant roles in advancing medical knowledge and providing healthcare services.

    Mayo Clinic professors are highly accomplished individuals who typically hold advanced degrees in their respective fields of study. They are experts in their areas of specialization and contribute to the medical community through research, clinical practice, and teaching.

    These professors often engage in academic activities such as conducting research studies, publishing scientific papers, presenting at conferences, and providing education and training to medical students, residents, and fellows. They contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge and the development of innovative medical practices.

    It’s important to note that specific incidents or actions involving individual Mayo Clinic professors may vary, and any information regarding a particular professor would be best obtained through official Mayo Clinic communications, news sources, or the professor’s own professional profile. https://mayoclinicpatientportal.info/

  7. I read the letter. It appeared there were more issues with this professor than just the type of language he used to communicate with the media. Allegedly, there was a lack of collegiality with his co-workers. That being said, it appears the Mayo Clinic College or the Mayo Clinic (it was unclear if he is both an employee of the clinic and a professor at the college) has a tight leash on those physicians who do public relations. What is most concerning to me is he is to refrain from offline conversations with reporters. I am not a lawyer, but I would think he has a First Amendment right to speak to whomever he wants in a personal capacity when he is off the clock. That may be in question if he is paid to be a spokesperson. When I want to know anything about medicine, one of the first sources I go to online is the Mayo Clinic. Indeed, it is a fine institution, but this story is a little troubling. Perhaps, if he is acting as an employee for the clinic and not for the college when he speaks to the media at the request of the clinic, he may not have a legal leg to stand on. At the least, he should be able to communicate his professional experience and opinions to his students, whether the college or clinic agree with the content or the way he expresses it.

    1. “. . . a lack of collegiality . . .”

      That is academic code for: He openly disagrees with the activist faculty.

  8. Some would rather open their mouths to feed themselves and their families than to open their mouths and loose the means to pen their mouths to feed their families. Sounds to me like how the Mafia works when a witness dares testify against a Made Member, the difference being the witness often dissappears never to be heard from again or the authorities finds he went swimming using cemet for fins.

  9. Question for those who want biological males to compete in female sports divisions:

    Why were separate girls’ divisions created? Why aren’t sports all coed?

    1. Prof. Joyner spoke the truth regarding Trans athletes. In today’s world “truth” becomes managed diktat.
      Gender is meaningless.

  10. You’ve probably heard that gender is a social construct, with no relation to biology. You’ve heard the phrase “assigned sex at birth.” You’ve heard that arguments that boys who identify as girls should be allowed to compete in female sports, because gender is an identity.

    But have you heard how this theory swept through the sciences? It was based on a single study, of a single set of male twins, one of whom suffered a horrific injury to his penis from medical malpractice. Dr John Money conducted the years-long study, gave lectures, and proclaimed that gender was a social construct. On the basis of his papers, it became the gold study to castrate males with injuries or anomalies to their penises, and raise them as girls. Any scientist who disagreed was treated like a bigot and flat-Earther.

    Decades later, it turned out that the study was a failure. The child never assimilated, and reclaimed his male identity. Also, Dr Money had sexually abused the twins until they flatly refused to be in his presence any longer.

    The entire concept that gender is an identity is based on a total fabrication, based on a flawed study of one person, by a man who sexually abused his subjects.

    When you educate yourself on transgender ideology, be careful that you are not simply reading a repetition of a failed study. Be cautious when publications show bias against studies that contradict an accepted theory. Above all, do not “trust the science.” Science advances through trial and error, and sometimes backslides from fraud. A lie can become accepted as truth if repeated long enough. Go to the source. The root study of the theory.

    In this case, the root grew a tree of poison fruit.


    1. The absurdity of the left on Gender does not require science.

      If we can be whatever we wish – without any questions, then gender means nothing.

      I identify as God, I expect all those on the left to respect that self identification from now on.

      As for those not infected with the progressive mind virus, you can call me whatever you want.

      So long as I am afforded the same right.

  11. If trans men are the same as women why not let them compete in boxing and women’s NCAA wrestling? They have not tried to compete in women’s wrestling because doing so would expose their charade for what it is when they won first place in every weight category. Mono on mono with a women would point out their greater muscle strength real fast. Can’t have reality get in the way can they. Only the sacrifice of sanity can explain it.

  12. The left has their heroes until they don’t.
    Frederick Douglas on free speech.
    “It is the dread of tyrants, for they know it’s power.
    Thrones, Dominions, Principalities founded in injustice and wrong,
    are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason of righteousness, temperance
    and justice to come in their presence.” They did their best to cancel Frederick Douglas but thankfully in the end he prevailed. I am on the right and Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King unlike for those on the left are still my heroes.

    1. The fact that you think we should have to go so far to prove men can’t be considered women underlines how effective the trans creeps have been in selling their idiotic nonsense.

    2. careful with that argument… Lysenkoism was effectively proven in monozygotic twins studies regarding homosexuals. ie: not born that way.
      “trans” is simply a mental illness

      1. “Lysenkoism was effectively proven in monozygotic twins . . .”

        That is bizarre.

        That a particular human behavior is not genetic does not prove that genetics is a “pseudoscience” (which is the essence of Lysenkoism).

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