Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts: Costas Blasts ESPN's Decision to Honor Jenner

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts: Costas Blasts ESPN's Decision to Honor Jenner

Article excerpt

Costas blasts ESPN's move to honor Jenner

Prominent sportscaster Bob Costas has jumped into the debate over whether Caitlyn Jenner is a deserving recipient for ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Speaking on the "Dan Patrick Show," Costas criticized ESPN's alleged motives behind the decision.

"It strikes me that awarding the Arthur Ashe award to Caitlyn Jenner is just a crass exploitation play," Costas said on the show, which is broadcast nationally on Fox Sports Radio. "It's a tabloid play. In the broad world of sports, I'm pretty sure they could have found and this is not anything against Caitlyn Jenner I'm pretty sure they could have found someone who was much closer to actively involved in sports, who would have been deserving of what that award represents."

Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, announced her name and made her public debut as a woman last week in an article appearing in Vanity Fair. Despite being an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympic Games, many pundits have criticized ESPN's decision to give her its "Arthur Ashe Courage Award" at the ESPY awards show, set for July 15.

Costas said he isn't trying to belittle the significance of Jenner's accomplishment. However, he thinks there are other people in the sports world who may be more deserving of recognition. He said he believes ESPN is just trying to draw attention to itself.

"That's not to say that it doesn't take some measure of personal courage to do what Caitlyn Jenner has done, but I think that every year we look across the landscape of sports, and we find prominent people and kids in high school and amateur athletes who I think more closely fit the description of what they're looking for or should be looking for there," Costas said. "And I think this is a play to pump up audience the way lots of things are put on television, to attract eyeballs, not because of the validity, but because of whatever the kind of gawker factor is." (Los Angeles Times)

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