The ESPYs is being heavily criticized for deciding to honor Bruce ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage just because he cosmetically transformed into a woman.
The ESPN awards show’s decision to honor Jenner over the likes of Lauren Hill – a 19-year old college basketball player who continued playing despite having a rare, inoperable brain cancer and raised millions for cancer research till her death on April 10 – caused the hashtag #LaurenHillESPYs to trend on Twitter on Tuesday, with sports fans and commentators calling ESPY’s decision ‘an absolute embarrassment’ and ‘ridiculous.’
‘I’m a sportsman and have watched the ESPY’s here and there. This award to Jenner ridicules real courage,’ wrote one Twitter user. Another wrote, ‘#CaitlynJenner spent money on her own surgery. #LaurenHillESPY raised $1M+ to help others. Who deserves the @ESPYS?’
Yet another user wrote, ‘#LaurenHillESPY Elective surgery isn’t courage or bravery. Fighting brain cancer with grace and dignity at 19 is. Lauren is most deserving.’ And there was this: ‘A college student who inspires countless people while battling cancer is more courageous than a man who wants to be woman #LaurenHillESPY.’
Elsewhere on Twitter, some people have declared that they will boycott this year’s ESPYs because Noah Galloway – a U.S army veteran who lost his arm and leg in the Iraq war, but still participates in Crossfits, multiple marathons, and almost won this year’s Dancing with the Stars – also lost the award to Jenner.
This photo has since gone viral:
Reacting to the uproar, ESPN released a statement to FOX News saying that ‘many people are discussed every year’ and they chose Jenner because they wanted ‘to help move forward a constructive dialogue about progress and acceptance.’ They also denied that there was a runner-up, saying, ‘There is no such thing as a runner up.’
The ESPYs will air on July 15.