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Bob Costas Calls ESPN's Courage Award For Caitlyn Jenner 'Crass Exploitation Play'

Bob Costas says he's happy for Caitlyn Jenner but he doesn't believe she deserves the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPYs.

"Bruce Jenner, who I did not know well, I always had a cordial and pleasant relationship with," he began on 'The Dan Patrick Show'.

"I wish Caitlyn Jenner well," he made sure to add, "and anyone even if most of us do not fully understand it anyone seeking to find the identity they're comfortable with and to live the happiest possible life without intentionally hurting anyone else."

"I think we're moving toward a more tolerant society, and that's all for the good, and I wish Caitlyn all the happiness in the world and all the peace of mind in the world."

"But it strikes me that awarding the Arthur Ashe Award to Caitlyn Jenner is just a crass exploitation play - it's a tabloid play," Costas said.

"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 the award represents."

"That's not to say that it doesn't take some measure of personal courage to do what Caitlyn Jenner has done, but I think every year we look across the landscape of sports and we find prominent people and kids in high school and amateur athletes who I think more closely fit the description of what they're looking for or should be looking for there."

He said the move proved ESPN was buying "into the Keeping Up with the Kardashians culture that has overtaken a good part of the cultural landscape."

"I think this is just a play to pump up audience, the way lots of things are put on television, to attract eyeballs," he said, "not because of the validity but because of whatever the kind of gawker factor is."

June 11, 2015 |

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