Veteran Sportscaster Bob Costas dissed ESPN’s recent decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner during the 2015 ESPY Awards, accusing the sport news giant of skipping over current athletes to partake in a possible publicity stunt.
While others have hailed the decision to recognize Jenner as a bold step forward for the transgender community, Costas took to The Dan Patrick Show to call for another awardee.
“In the broad world of sports, I’m pretty sure they could’ve found someone — and this is not anything against Caitlyn Jenner — who was much closer actively involved in sports, who would’ve been deserving of what that award represents,” he told the satellite radio show.
Caitlyn is the new female persona of former U.S. Olympian Bruce Jenner. During her heyday, Jenner won the gold medal for the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics and the 1975 Pan American Games. She also set multiple world records.
After Jenner left the arena of competitive track and field, she turned to other sports including car racing and golf. Jenner was even profiled in the July 2009 issue of Golf Digest.
However, the spotlight that is currently shining on Jenner has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with a well-watched “20/20” Interview with Diane Sawyer and the recent Vanity Fair cover documenting her journey to becoming a trans woman.
While Costas gave a nod to Jenner’s “personal courage,” he said, “It strikes me that awarding the Arthur Ashe Award to Caitlyn Jenner is just a crass exploitation play. It’s a tabloid play.”
Jenner, who has turned to Twitter to communicate as her female self, has not tweeted on Costas’ statements as of press time.
The EPSYs, believed to be short for excellence in sports performance yearly, is an annual recognition of individuals and teams for their athletic achievements.
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award heralds those whose contributions trancend the world of sports. Last year’s award went to openly gay football player Michael Sam.