ESPN Taking Heat
June 11, 2015
One has to wonder if ESPN considered the backlash it would receive when it announced that it was giving Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic hero Bruce Jenner who underwent gender reassignment recently, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the upcoming ESPY awards.
Criticism of the choice has dominated social media of late. A majority of the criticism I have been reading talks of ESPN selling out to the tabloids and the reality shows. Many critics feel Jenner is seeking attention for his “Keeping up with the Kardashians’ reality show with the announcement of his gender reassignment. They point out that he has already made the cover of Vanity Fair.
Personally, I feel his decision was more of a choice then showing courage. There are thousands and thousands of individuals out there who have undergone the same procedure.
Objection number two out there in social media circles is that it seems that the network could have found someone who was actively involved in sports in the past few decades.
Caitlyn Jenner, in July’s Vanity Fair
Jenner has not done anything in the world of sports for such a long time.
There are so many current athletes who exemplify real courage. Many have suggested that Lauren Hill, the college basketball player who died of cancer recently, but used the remaining time of her life to raise awareness and money to fight the disease, would have been a better choice.
I have to agree with the masses on that choice. Hill deserved this award for the way she lived the last year of her life by spending what little time she had left in this world to raise awareness and money for pediatric brain cancer. It is actually quite ironic. Hill raised money for a noble cause while Jenner spent lots of money in an attempt to change his appearance. When I first heard of Jenner’s decision, the word courage never came to me. I understood that the media would be all over the story. I, however, never thought ESPN would join tabloid media.
There are so many stories of athletes exemplifying courage out there. Especially over the past 40 years since Jenner took part in sports. After his Olympics, Jenner walked away from sports altogether.
One has to ask. Are the ratings on ESPN that bad? This is a station supposedly dedicated to sports not societal issues. The decision could backfire as there are hundreds of calls for a boycott of the ESPY’s and ESPN in general.
Cam Cashes In
The mystery is over. There have been some questions within the NFL if the Carolina Panthers would sign quarterback Cam Newton to a big extension. The franchise answered the question in a big way with big money.
Newton could be paid as much as $118.47 million between now and 2020. The contract comes with $31 million fully guaranteed.
There is a total $60 million guaranteed for injury, so if something catastrophic happens to Newton, he’s still set.
These guarantees, spread out over the first three years of a deal that purports to make Newton one of the few $20M players in the NFL, at least for the next three seasons.
I understand Newton had the Panthers in a tough spot. The team is set up to win now and cannot afford the time it takes to find and develop another quarterback. That is why Newton is getting the money of a top-five NFL quarterback even though he is not yet a top-10 quarterback.
Women’s World Cup
Though it received less fanfare then the Men’s World Cup, this year’s Women’s World Cup could capture the nation’s attention beginning this week.
As is usually the case, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team is amongst the favorites. It is also is facing a drought.
It’s been 16 years since they won their last World Cup, and much has changed within the team on and off the field. Christie Rampone, 39, is the only player remaining from the national team that won it all in 1999 and propelled women’s soccer in the U.S. to soaring heights.
With new talent, this 2015 U.S. squad has the potential to improve upon the legacy of 1999.