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Why Caitlyn Jenner Rightfully Deserves The Arthur Ashe Courage Award

She’s been the trending topic of the week so far, and her Vanity Fair cover has made her “free.”

Caitlyn Jenner has taken the media by storm in a venture of ground-breaking proportions, revealing her true self and paving the way for transgender individuals everywhere.

“Why is this such a big deal?” some might ask. “People all over the world have gone through this transformation.”

There are critics out there who just can’t seem to empathize with Caitlyn, and the ignorance of the statement above outweighs its truth.

What those critics fail to understand is that whether we like it or not, our celebrities arguably have the biggest influence on the direction of our culture, simply because their lives are magnified for all of us to observe.

Caitlyn’s bravery draws awareness to the topic of transgenders because she is famous, and thus, she reaches a bigger audience.

Her courage, in turn, will hopefully make it easier for people of the transgender community to reveal their identities without shame.

For this reason, Caitlyn will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPY Awards.

Not only does her courage make her a worthy candidate for the award, but her athletic achievements earlier in her life already make her an American Olympic hero.

With all that being said, Caitlyn is a surefire lock for the award.

The award itself has garnered some speculation the past two years for its winners, however, and it leaves us to wonder, as Bomani Jones recently stated:

When did y’all start caring so much about the ESPY’s???

Michael Sam receiving the Arthur Ashe Award last year stirred up a bit of controversy, as well, and it seems peculiar the Ashe Award winners of the past two years have started controversy because their courage has positively affected communities who are discriminated against.

What’s even more strange is after all that, people think Caitlyn doesn’t deserve the award.

Who deserves it more than her?

Apparently, a good chunk of Twitter users seem to think Noah Galloway, a war veteran with severed limbs who’s probably still 10 times more athletic than the average athlete, deserves it more than Caitlyn.

Galloway’s tale is nothing short of inspiring, and even though he’s not going to win the award, he’s certainly an honorable and courageous American worth recognizing.

But, Galloway can’t deserve the award if he was never considered for it.

On Monday, a meme about Galloway went viral and claimed Galloway was the “runner-up” for the award.

Today, that meme has been confirmed false. ESPN has confirmed there is no such thing as a “runner-up” for the Ashe award, nor does ESPN have the conventional voting system for the award that results in first- and second-place winners.

Furthermore, the columnist in Boston who sparked the fiery debate with his tweet still doesn’t have the decency to apologize for falsely proclaiming Galloway’s nomination for the Ashe Award, let alone delete the tweet.

Galloway himself has yet to speak on the controversial storm that surrounds him, Caitlyn Jenner and the award. Judging by his Twitter, he seems more concerned with the Teen Choice Awards.

With Caitlyn as the only candidate, more and more people have to take into account what it meant for her before anyone else.

Once hailed as an Olympic hero and one of the only male identities in the Kardashian family picture, it took extreme courage to surrender her manhood for who she is.

In Bomani Jones’ radio show, “The Right Time,” he plays the old “put yourself in their shoes” game to perfection:

Think about all the things that you think that you’re not willing to share with a room full of people. Now imagine being America’s Olympic Hero, and you feel that you are a woman.

Yeah, you go tell the world THAT! And THEN go tell them that AFTER you don’t look like a dude anymore. Yeah, okay, there we go.

What Caitlyn has done is only the beginning for her.

Her prevalence in Hollywood can only help bolster the support for transgenders, a population which, according to NPR, only has an average life expectancy of about 32 years, likely because of suicide/homicide.

With the Arthur Ashe Award in her hands, it’s a huge step forward for the transgender community, and hopefully, it will silence the crowd of bigots who speak against transgenders.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.

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Fran Kilinski

Contributor

Student-Athlete at the City College of New York in Manhattan, pursuing a Bachelor's in Creative Writing with a minor in Journalism. Lover of all sports, passionate player of Basketball with an aim to play professionally. Also involved in music.
Student-Athlete at the City College of New York in Manhattan, pursuing a Bachelor's in Creative Writing with a minor in Journalism. Lover of all sports, passionate player of Basketball with an aim to play professionally. Also involved in music.

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