Caitlyn Jenner, Lauren Hill Controversy: Outrage Over Arthur Ashe Courage Award To Caitlyn, Not Hill Or Noah Galloway

Caitlyn Jenner vs. Lauren Hill: That’s the battle being played out on social media after ESPN announced that it would give the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Jenner, who recently transitioned from male (Bruce Jenner) to female (Caitlyn) rather than Lauren Hill, a basketball player who struggled with a brain tumor throughout her first year in college, reported the New York Daily News.

Twitter blew up when ESPN revealed that Caitlyn would take home the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the July ESPYs award show.

“[Jenner showed the] courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces,” said ESPYs executive producer Maura Mandt of the reason for choosing Caitlyn.

However, social media immediately lashed back. Although a few argued that Caitlyn had shown courage, most who attacked ESPN for its choice pointed out that Lauren had shown incredible courage to keep playing college basketball despite her deadly disease.

“Glad Jenner is finally able to live life on her own terms, but the Ashe award for courage? Lauren Hill deserves that.”

“While I think it’s cool @ESPN is awarding Caitlyn Jenner, there was nobody more courageous than Lauren Hill in all of sports.”

“@ESPYS happy that Jenner is finding peace. But how can you not choose Lauren Hill? Total miss in my opinion.”

Before she died on April 10, Hill focused on fundraising for other cancer patients. She helped build a fund of more than $1.5 million before her death at age 19.

But some also argued that the Arthur Ashe Award should go to Noah Galloway, reported Fox News.

Although the Iraq veteran lost his leg and part of his arm in battle, he participated in Dancing With The Stars and is active in extreme sports.

As for Lauren Hill’s supporters, her basketball coach, Dan Benjamin, emphasized his goal of continuing her fight for funding for the disease that took her life.

“I can only speak for the journey I went on with Lauren. I cannot speak to anyone else’s. Of course, I want Lauren to get the award. In Lauren’s words, if we can get closer to solving cancer, that would be the greatest award.”

The type of cancer that killed Hill is DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). The charity for which she raised funds is The Cure Starts Now.

As for whether Caitlyn should get the award?

“The best part of our country is the freedom of speech,” he said. “It’s more important to maintain her mission,” added Dan.

And the cancer-raising foundation agreed with the basketball coach’s views.

“THIS is the greatest award that we could give to #LaurenHill. Today her most important legacy continues with the $4.5 million in new cancer research grant requests we have received this week alone (we have $2.7m to spend). For that, we hope that people continue to send donations to her tribute fund so that we can continue her mission to help other children battling cancer. This far surpasses any plaque or title that could be given to her.”

As the Inquisitr reported, among those speaking out for Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce, before the completion of the transition to Caitlyn Jenner is actor Jeffrey Tambor, star of the Amazon original show Transparent, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a transgender woman.

Tambor has been active in defending the Olympic gold medal winner for criticisms ranging from the Diane Sawyer interview lead-up to today.

“I think Jenner has a right to do what Jenner wants to do, and the way Jenner wants to do it,” said the actor.

[Photo by Andy Lyons / Getty Images]

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