I should have already given ESPN an Ethics Dunce for designating an “Espy,” an award given by the cable sports channel to justify having an awards show—to Caitlyn Jenner for the courageous sports achievement of being an aging reality show star who once won an Olympics event and decided that he was now a she. Why I didn’t, I don’t recall. I think my reasoning was that since the awards are just a PR gimmick anyway, it wasn’t worth the post. I wasn’t paying attention: I did not sufficiently focus on the fact that “Espy”she would receive was named after Arthur Ashe. I did already discuss the ethical problems with turning Jenner into a trans icon, since her transition seemed to be in part a money-driven career move. Now, following Jenner’s tearful and touching acceptance of “the Arthur Ashe Courage Award” on TV, we learn this:
“Reports have emerged that Jenner’s team approached ESPN with the idea that she win the Arthur Ashe Courage Award just as details were being finalized for her 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC. ABC and ESPN are both owned by Disney, and ABC aired Wednesday’s awards ceremony. “It was a brilliant move because the executives at ESPN loved the idea, and immediately began making sure it got done,” a source familiar with the negotiations told RadarOnline.The talks hit a stumbling block, and Jenner’s agents were reportedly prepared to pull out of the interview with Sawyer. “It was ironed out, and ABC owns one of the biggest stories of the year.” The build up to Jenner accepting the award will be featured in her upcoming reality show, “I am Cait”, generating a great deal of publicity for both ESPN and the awards.”
Wow! Who could have seen that coming—a reality show star, who has been part of the shameless and venal Kardashian family, cynically manipulating the media and gaining phony recognition on a nationally broadcast awards show…and, in the bargain, debasing the name of a real sports hero, the dignified, sportsmanlike, role model Arthur Ashe, an African American champion in the white man’s game of tennis who helped make Serena Williams’ prominence possible!
Yecchh. In fact, that’s a double yecchh at least.
What does this mean? To begin with, it means that Jenner bought her award. I don’t want to read any Clintonian deceit about how this isn’t technically true….she bought it. There is no reason to believe ESPN would have given the award to Jenner had her agents not suggested it, and ESPN’s parent received value that translated directly into profits with the exclusive, high-rated ABC interview with Sawyer. Jenner might as well have slipped ABC a couple of million in a big valise under the table. This was a bribe. This was an award bought and paid for.
What does that mean?
It means…that the Espy awards are an even bigger joke than they already were. They have no integrity. Awards that are up for auction aren’t distinctions and the aren’t honors, they are commodities.
It means…that no athlete with any integrity or self-respect should dignify the awards show with their presence, and none should accept an award that has been so tainted.
It means…that no transgendered former Olympic champion with any integrity should accept such a bogus and deceptive award either. Luckily for ESPN, the only transgendered former Olympic champion so far who been offered such an award has no integrity.
It means...that no sports fan with any self-respect or integrity should debase themselves or their species by watching the Espys. ESPN is lucky again: there are enough ethically inert sports fans who will wear Ray Rice jerseys, cheer NFL players as they turn their brains to mush, make excuses for Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Pete Rose and Alex Rodriguez and shrug off the corruption of NCAA football and basketball to ensure the show an audience of millions anyway.
It means...that if Diane Sawyer knew that her interview was obtained in this way, she is fully complicit in the deception, as well as the insult to Arthur Ashe’s memory.
It means…that the family of Arthur Ashe should demand that his name is removed from the “award,” since it no longer stands for values that he could support, or that any decent family would want associated with a respected and honorable loved one.
It means…that Disney, ESPN, Diane Sawyer and Caitlyn Jenner conspired to keep the the Arthur Ashe Courage Award from being awarded to the obvious and deserving recipient, the late Lauren Hill, a Mount St. Joseph student athlete who gained international attention when she decided to play on the freshman basketball team even as her inoperable brain tumor was killing her. She played the team’s opener—moved up in the schedule so she would be well enough to participate, and scored two points before being replaced in the first quarter. She then set up a fund to raise money for cancer treatment and research.
But what is a young woman’s real courage compared to a reality star’s courageous self-promotion?
It means…that LGBT activists and advocates need to find better —much better—champions, trail-blazers and exemplars. Caitlyn Jenner, whatever her current gender, is a Machiavellian huckster. If she is the face of trans America, their battle against bigotry just got a lot harder.
Pointer Rick Jones
Source: Daily Mail
26 thoughts on “So Caitlyn Jenner BOUGHT Her ESPN Arthur Ashe Courage Award From Disney: What Does It Mean, And Why Is Anyone Surprised?”
Espy Award? Never paid any attention. Only awards I follow are Tony Awards and baseball ones.
I see no problem with linking it to Arthur Ashe (The Rosa Parks of tennis) – after all, Obama got a Nobel!
I assume your flood of rationalizations here is tongue in cheek.
I mean, it’s not the WORST thing, Stephen Hawking could have bought it. Or Beth! She does Mental gymnastics!
Me? Never! The Jenner situation has brought tears to my eyes over this great profiles in reality TV….oops….courage.
Ashe was a remarkable individual both in tennis and being a spokesperson for HIV awareness. The award gets debased when the obvious (Hill) are bypassed – similar to handing out the Nobel to you know who.
Jenner? The Christine Jorgensen of the this era. Anything for a buck.
Gack! Urghh! Those are gaging and retching. Now I know why I never watch ESPN. This whole LGBT thing is getting out of hand.
Well, the gay thing, with the Obergefell decision, is becoming a bit passe’. The next step is to push not only the relationships of people whose relationships are unusual but who otherwise are like…people, but public bizarre behavior. I’m not sure society at large is ready to swallow this pill so soon after the other.
I would’ve gone with Pete Frates.
Also a great choice.
To be fair: ABC denies the linkage. I believe them. The Tooth Fairy told me I should.
Working on my piece on this… hopefully today or tomorrow.
They were caught red-handed, it’s a complete disgrace, and naturally they are going to deny it.
From the Better Late than Never files, my take.
The Jenner is an ethics train wreck from start to finish. It makes me wonder what rules were broken when the original gold medals were won. Everything he ever did is corrupted.
I can almost guarantee Diane Sawyer not only knew but participated in the scheme. Her credibility is zero.
I remember asking my dad how people could have done this or that event in history and his reply that at the time it was done everyone was either part of it or was silenced by the people who were part of it. Events don’t happen on the scale of the ethics atrocities we’re living in now without the participation of the whole culture. He pointed out that the only way to rise above it was to refuse to be part of it and to physically, vocally, and openly oppose it even when it seems hopeless.
The Lauren Hills of the world will still be courageous, but sadly a part of that courage will be that often true courage, true vision, true loyalty, true goodness will not be popular or even tolerated. But, they do it anyway.
There’s more to this than meets the eye at first glance. The Magic Kingdom by many Disney employees is known as “The Magic Queendom” due to their affirmative action policy of hiring many gays to make up for past sins of not allowing gays to smooch in public and hold hands when old fashioned Walt was in charge. This is not to say gay athletes should not be awarded an ESPY if they have shown real courage in their sports career. Jenner was a bad choice, that’s all!!
I ::heart:: this post.
Thanks for untangling and helping to further expose the ethics dunces.
I don’t have anything against Jenner, but the award description does not line up with Jenner. What sport did Jenner play this past year and at what moment in that sport activity was especially courageous? Oh…Jenner didn’t participate in sports last year? So…the award should have been courage in reality tv programming? Got it.
This is the virtual epitome of The Ick Factor! It’s also an illustration of how low American professional sports and those who promote them have sunk… into the nether regions of the Earth.
One thing I find quite funny in all this is Jenner’s show (as well as everything else Kardashian) is aired on the E! Network, a subsidiary of NBC-Universal/Comcast. So, NBC-Universal was able to use their biggest rival, ABC-Disney, for publicity. I remember the days when the Big-3 would never mention the other two networks unless it was negative, much less interview the star of another’s show.
Jack is just pissed at Disney ever since Annette Funicello didn’t sent him an autograph picture when he was hooked on the MM Club. I always thought Jimmie Dodd should have gotten an Emmy.
Good choice on Frates.
I was a Darlene fan.
Everybody gets a trophy; Caitlin just bought it at market value…
I enjoyed the film Transamerica. http://www.metacritic.com/movie/transamerica
I do not enjoy this shit.
It seems my loathing of Caitlyn Jenner does have bounds.
It sounds like something Jenner would do but I’m not convinced. We’ll see if other publications can come up with something more or at least some confirmation.
We don’t get to choose them though, that’s the point.
If I was able to choose, I’d go for the ones who have saved lives, or been part of the space program, or even some silver star winners for extraordinary heroism. They exist – I know some of them personally – but they don’t have the $$$ to buy influence, and insulate themselves from the inevitable well-funded smear campaigns that would be mounted against them should they stand out.
The one good thing about this affair was her speech. It may have done some good. So there’s a nugget in the midden-heap – that doesn’t stop the stink.
Like Valkygrrl I’d prefer more evidence – but in my case that may be due to my confirmation bias, I don’t want to believe it. In her case, she does want to believe it – but wants more evidence anyway, because she has intellectual integrity. I hope I do too. I try anyway. I don’t always succeed.
Or my biases are in conflict and I’d be more inclined to trust a different source than a lone article in the Daily Fail. My politics do, after all, align with yours more than it appears at first glance.
But when it comes to choosing, there’s little that can be done about people who seek the spotlight. Infamy is easy, even for someone like I, who unlike Jenner am not shaped for sportive tricks, nor made to court an amorous looking-glass can still be determined to prove a villain and hate the idle pleasures of these days. You can’t stop it but you can shun it, no LGBT group need stand behind them, you don’t see them getting behind Zoey Turr now do you? Nor should they given her habit of threatening violence against detractors, I’ll assume you saw the post about it on gendertrender? You have influence and you have working relationships with others who do as well, find someone good who is actually willing to stand out and have those brows bound with victorious wreaths, those bruised arms hung up for monuments. One who doesn’t think a boob job and a corset do a woman make, and for the love of the gods pick a post-op, it’ll come off better if it doesn’t look like a penis-person is arguing for other penis-people. That has a lingering stink of bros before hos.
And if that’s too hard just pick Lana Warshowshi, her movies may suck but she’s wonderful.
*Imagines Sir Laurence Olivier rolling over in this grave*
That’s a great point, but when does a traditionally marginalized group get to escape the trap of kneejerk group identification with people who harm the group by becoming its public face?
The Mail is not the most reliable source…but neither is ABC. The award always smelled fishy, still does—-it has the appearance of impropriety no matter how you look at it. The award made no sense. It is designed for a sports figure who displays courage, or someone who displays courage related to sports (as in the Nelson Mandela case) not someone who was once a sports figure decades ago.
So is any public figure who was once an athlete an automatic candidate if he or she does something heroic, even if nobody under the age of 50 thinks of him as related to sports? Ahnold? Ike? Ronnie? Gerald Ford? Johnny Mathis was an Olympic team candidate. Obama plays golf. Dancing is athletic–is any Dancing With The Stars competitor eligible if ESPN wants a ratings boost? Does the courage matter a little less if it is—and was calculated to—be bolstered by a megadose of the celebrity’s addiction of choice, exposure and publicity, and skads of money?