BAYHAM: Miss ESPN

MSNBC with baseball.

That’s what ESPN has devolved into when it was announced that the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage will be handed at the ESPY “Sports Awards” program in July to someone who is four decades removed from his athletic apogee, received generous amounts of cosmetic surgery, decided to announce to the world that he is indeed a she and was recently involved in a fatal car accident while playing cat and mouse from media that Jenner obviously welcomes.

The audacity to pose for a fawning media is now the gold standard for courage in this day and age.

Eat your heart out Number 42.

Previous recipients include baseball umpire Steve Palmero (who received a serious gunshot wound while breaking up a mugging attempt), Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell and Pat Tillman before the award transmogrified into recognition for the pursuit of progressive political and social agendas.

Last year’s recipient was linebacker Michael Sam, who was the first openly homosexual player selected in the NFL Draft. Sam was selected in the final round of the 2014 NFL Draft and never made a team’s 53-man roster yet he has received more attention than 99% of the people who actually took the field last season.

That there were more deserving people for a “courage award” than a person who lives in luxury goes without question.

Wounded warriors who have overcome severe physical disabilities suffered while in the defense of America, school students who have battled through serious if not terminal illness to compete in team sports, young people who displayed uncommon character in the arena of competition- these are the non-supermarket tabloid names whose stories should be shared and whose lives should be celebrated.

ESPN decided to add another klieg light to the center ring of a media circus family many in America would rather ignore.

It’s as if the folks at ESPN tried to out “d’oh” the Nobel Peace Prize commission for having awarded their once prestigious accolade to Barack Obama, who occupied for the White House for less than two weeks before nominations were closed.

If only the network was just a publicity whore trying to out E! the competition for a larger share in the “click this epic” link media universe that has coarsened society. But there’s more to this than a ratings bonanza for their self-congratulatory sham awards show- it’s about changing hearts and minds.

ESPN has used their sports programing as a foot in the door to advance a leftist social agenda to an audience that tends to be more conservative and traditionalist in their world view. Expect more progressive malarkey to be piped in the future after the network is finished crowning Jenner “Ms. ESPN” as they’ve just got started.

The person who was born male and lived most of his life under the name Bruce Jenner was considered the greatest athlete in the world when he won the 1976 gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal.

However equal disappointment should be expressed in Jenner’s attitude- as a man who pushed himself to his physical limits preparing for the Olympics now believes himself more deserving of this accolade than people actively engaged in sports who aren’t featured on the cover of Vanity Fair sporting lingerie.

Instead of declining and utilizing the increased notoriety to celebrate someone who has achieved athletic excellence, Jenner gushed on Twitter “What the hell am I going to wear?” after the award was announced.

Jenner is both an honorary female and at 65 an honorary member of the “All About Me” Generation as well. He’s not a woman though Bruce Jenner is very much now a Kardashian.

As for ESPN and their bogus awards show, they’ve gone (down) a long way down since the ESPY’s gave Jimmy Valvano’s inspiring words a platform in 1993- a selfless speech that uplifted the spirit, brought tears to the eyes and generated millions for cancer research and treatment.

At the conclusion of what was the first acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Jimmy V had to be physically assisted from the podium- the North Carolina State basketball coach would die from the cancer he bravely fought eight weeks later.

The leftist sports network hasn’t just jumped the shark of political correctness; they’ve lost their mind, bared their soul and denigrated the memories of the real heroes who had been association with this once prestigious award.



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