The annual ESPY Awards will honor Caitlyn Jenner with the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award next month. But some folks disagree on what “courage” is.
Reaction to the announcement – made on the same day that Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair – has been mixed on social media.
The award is being given to Jenner for “(showing) the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces,” ESPYs executive producer Maura Mandt said in a statement announcing the award.
But Twitter users suggested that a better honoree would have been college basketball player Lauren Hill, 19, who battled a brain tumor her freshman year at Mount St. Joseph University before she died.
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“Glad Jenner is finally able to live life on her own terms, but the Ashe award for courage? Lauren Hill deserves that,” tweeted one person.
Jenner, a former Olympic gold medalist, said in statement that she was thrilled to receive the award which honors people whose contributions to society transcend sports.
“In the past few months, the overwhelming outpouring of support from all over the world for my journey has been incredible,” said Jenner.
“However, being honored with this award, which is named after one of my heroes, is truly special. For the first time this July, I will be able to stand as my true self in front of my peers.”
Other recipients of the award have been former women’s college basketball coach Pat Summitt and Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player.
Some people suggested others besides Jenner for the award.
But Jenner also had plenty of her own supporters.
And, she also has her own new dilemma brought on by the big day coming up. It will likely be her first time to walk a red carpet or appear at a major event as a woman.