On July 15, Bruce Jenner will be awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY event in Los Angeles for his recent announcement that he is transgendered and will be living life as Caitlyn Jenner. However, some ESPN viewers aired their frustration on Twitter concerning the announcement, saying that other candidates have been overlooked.
Specifically, the Daily Mail reports that people are outraged that Lauren Hill, the basketball star that died from cancer in April, isn’t receiving the award. Prior to her death, Lauren raised over $1.5 million for cancer research and said she felt she was doing God’s work.
Lauren had a very deadly form of brain cancer known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which is a pediatric cancer found at the base of the brain. Unfortunately, less than 10% of DIPG children will live longer than 18 months from diagnosis. Doctors told Hill that she wouldn’t live to see 2015, but she proved them wrong and never stopped fighting her cancer.
Then, in March, Lauren appeared on the ABC talk show, The View alongside her mother, Lisa, to raise money for The Cure Starts Now Foundation. “It’s kind of hard to just focus on you and not on others. I just kept thinking about all of these other kids who have nothing else to do and their families being told that they have nothing else… and I have to be that voice,” said Lauren.
Additionally, Lauren was praised by basketball legend LeBron James on Twitter after her passing. James wrote, “Dear Lauren Hill, You are the true definition of strength, courage, power, leadership, etc! Your time spent on earth will never be forgotten.”
One Twitter user said, “Elective surgery isn’t courage or bravery. Fighting brain cancer with grace and dignity at 19 is. Lauren is most deserving.” Another named Josh commented, “Lauren Hill deserves the ESPY award for courage, and it should not even be a discussion. What an absolute embarrassment.”
In a statement ESPN said the following about the award: “Sometimes that courage is demonstrated over the course of a lifetime and sometimes it is demonstrated in a single act that shines a light on an important contemporary issue. At all times, there are many worthy candidates. This year, we are proud to honor Caitlyn Jenner embracing her identity and doing so in a public way to help move forward a constructive dialogue about progress and acceptance.”
Below are a few tweets from viewers who were outraged by ESPN’s announcement:
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
— Ryan Sweet (@SweeterTweeter) June 3, 2015
#LaurenHillESPY Elective surgery isn’t courage or bravery. Fighting brain cancer with grace and dignity at 19 is. Lauren is most deserving.
— Kristin (@KristinH1998) June 3, 2015