Wow, some people are going absolutely berserk over the idea of a powerful trans woman and former athlete accepting an award from ESPN tonight. Because Caitlyn Jenner hasn't competed in sports in decades, and certainly hasn't done so since her transition, people like Bob Costas are attacking her, ESPN and everyone else they can get ahold of to express their rage over the audacity of honoring this transformative trans woman.
Yet I don't remember seeing complaints when some other former athletes received the same award from the same company years after their retirement.
Tennis great Billie Jean King was given the award in 1999. That was 16 years after she retired from tennis.
Muhammad Ali last stepped into the boxing ring in 1981, 16 years before he was given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
John Carlos and Tommie Smith? ESPN honored them in 2008, 40 years after they raised their "black fists" in Mexico City.
Or how about Nelson Mandela. While all of these people, like Jenner, are former elite athletes, Mandela was nothing of the sort, competing in sports as a youth in the Thirties and Forties. He certainly did something special with rugby in South Africa, but that was one moment in 1995, 14 years before he would win the honor.
Nope, all of these people are totally acceptable to win a Courage Award from ESPN. Yet a former Olympic champion who chooses to transition genders publicly and inspires countless youth to put away the bottle of pills is somehow unworthy.
Spare us the rationalizations. If you're against this honoree for this award, you're just a transphobic jerk.