Don’t count Peter Berg, the director of “Lone Survivor” and producer of “Friday Night Lights” among the people who were moved by Caitlyn Jenner’s speech as she accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage award at the ESPYs on Wednesday night.
Jenner made her first public appearance since completing her gender transition and gave a 10-minute speech about her journey, receiving two standing ovations along the way and acknowledging that giving her a courage award was, like her transition, controversial.
Berg criticized the choice with an Instagram post in which he shared, without comment, a Facebook photo by Main Stream Media Sponsor Boycotts that featured a photo of Army veteran Gregory Gadson, who played a role in Berg’s “Battleship,” alongside one of Jenner. It says: “One Man traded 2 legs for the freedom of the other to trade 2 balls for 2 boobs. Guess which Man made the cover of Vanity Fair, was praised for his courage by President Obama and is to be honored with the ‘Arthur Ashe Courage Award’ by ESPN?”
Jenner was a controversial choice for the award, with many pointing out that Noah Galloway, an athlete who lost an arm and leg in war, was more deserving, as was Lauren Hill, who achieved her dream of playing college basketball before she died of brain cancer. NBC broadcaster Bob Costas was among the more vocal critics of the choice.
“It strikes me that awarding the Arthur Ashe Award to Caitlyn Jenner is just a crass exploitation play – it’s a tabloid play,” he told the “Dan Patrick Show.” “In the broad world of sports, I’m pretty sure they could’ve found someone – and this is not anything against Caitlyn Jenner – who was much closer actively involved in sports, who would’ve been deserving of what that award represents.
“That’s not to say it doesn’t take some measure of personal courage to do what Caitlyn Jenner has done.”
Jenner used her moment on stage to say that “trans people deserve something vital: They deserve your respect” and to acknowledge that she doesn’t mind being a lightning rod.
“If you want to call me names … go ahead. I can take it,” Jenner said, “but for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it.”
H/T Daily Beast
Update, 8:30 p.m.: Berg returned to Instagram and posted this image and caption:
“I have the utmost respect for Caitlyn Jenner and I am a strong supporter of equality and the rights of trans people everywhere. I also believe that we don’t give enough attention to our courageous returning war veterans, many of whom have sacrificed their bodies and mental health for our country and our principals- principals that include the freedom to live the life you want to live without persecution or abuse.”
I have the utmost respect for Caitlyn Jenner and I am a strong supporter of equality and the rights of trans people everywhere. I also believe that we don't give enough attention to our courageous returning war veterans, many of whom have sacrificed their bodies and mental health for our country and our principals- principals that include the freedom to live the life you want to live without persecution or abuse.
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