Tonight the ESPY Awards are being broadcast for the first time on a major broadcast network in ABC, and this is going to be a very big year for the show for a variety of different reasons. You have everything from FIFA to DeAndre Jordan to discuss, and then there is the decision to give the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Caitlyn Jenner. This one has been met with controversy by many, who argue that her transition does not make the former Olympian as worthy as someone like war hero Noah Galloway.
Joel McHale is going to be the host of the show tonight, and he also is someone who has a little more history with Jenner than most, given that “The Soup” airs on E! and the Kardashian family is more or less the network’s soup du jour. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly to preview the show, he did not necessarily chime in one way or another with his take on the controversy, other than saying that Caitlyn’s transition was incredibly brave:
“[Everything is] up for grabs as far as comedy goes. If it’s in the media, there’s jokes to be made. So, there’s that. But as far as the deservingness of the award for Caitlyn, there’s no doubt that her accomplishments in the ’70s were enormous. She probably was the most famous athlete next to Muhammad Ali. And to win the decathlon is nothing short of incredible. So there’s that. And clearly, after gender reassignment, the whole thing becomes a much bigger story. It’s obviously very divisive, but I’m not in charge of giving these awards away. But if somebody did what she did in the ’70s, then I’m like, well, of course. And what she did to become a woman was very courageous. I can’t imagine it was an easy thing.”
We’ll have some other coverage of this tonight, mostly because we can imagine this being one of the most-discussed TV moments for quite some time.
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