Caitlyn Jenner's ESPYs Acceptance Speech: Did It Move You?

Without so much as a “Bye, Felicia” to those who said she was an unworthy choice, Caitlyn Jenner silenced her critics with a stirring — and at times, quite funny — speech accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage at the 2015 ESPYs.

Jenner, of course, was known as Bruce when winning the 1976 gold medal in men’s decathlon, then found renewed fame playing husband and dad on E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Jenner made national headlines again in April by revealing she is a transgender woman who goes by the name Caitlyn

While the coveted Courage award has gone to a number of athletes whose post-sports careers have shone spotlights on important social issues — think Billie Jean King (equal pay for women), Muhammad Ali (Parkinson’s disease) and Dewey Bozella (wrongful imprisonment) — and figures from outside the world of sports such as Nelson Mandela and the United Airlines Flight 93 heroes, Jenner’s inclusion whipped some pundits and fans into a frenzy.  NBC Sports anchor Bob Costas, for one, said ESPN’s decision to honor Jenner was “a crass exploitation play,” while conceding it did take “some measure of personal courage” for Jenner to become a very public face of one of the last unexplored human-rights frontiers in our nation’s history.

Preceding Jenner’s speech was a sweet intro by U.S. women’s soccer star Abby Wambach (explaining how the award was another step in making the U.S. “a better place to live, and a better model for the world”) and a lengthy intro reel narrated by Jon Hamm, who recollected the way, from a young age, Jenner’s on-the-field exploits simply helped her “fit in” dealing with crippling “gender dysphoria.”

Jenner, with children Kim, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie, Brody, Burt and Cassandra in attendance, underscored in her speech the bravery it takes to live one’s own authentic life — coming out with that struggle at age 65, doing it amidst a maelstrom of media scrutiny and knowing that perhaps her own story will educate a nation that is still in its infancy when it comes to discussing and understanding transgender issues. (Seven transgender women were murdered in the U.S. in the first seven weeks of 2015 alone.)

Among the highlights of Jenner’s big moment:

* A punch line-packed intro — “Picking out this outfit! OK, girls, I get it!” Caitlyn joshed about the pressure to select her wrap-waisted white gown for her awards-show moment. “And next, the Fashion Police!”

* Jenner’s frank discussion of the murder of 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson, a transgender woman stabbed to death this year in a field in Mississippi, and the suicide of a 15-year-old transgender boy just days before Jenner’s own ABC interview.

* Jenner’s wish that her time in the spotlight might “reshape the landscape of how we view trans people” — and her hope that in some way her story will push people toward “accepting people for who they are.”

* Noting that her journey to come out as transgender has been harder than any of her athletic or reality TV endeavors — Jenner insisted that anyone going through the process of questioning his or her identity “deserves your respect.” She also “acknowledged all the young trans athletes out there…given the chance to play sports as who they really are.”

* Jenner thanked her family, tearfully explaining, “I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all my family and my kids,” before adding, “I am so so grateful to have all of you in my life.”

* “If someone wanted to bully me, I was the MVP of the football team: That just wasn’t going to be a problem. And the same thing goes tonight: If you wanna call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead. Because the reality is, I can take it.” Jenner challenged, while extolling the power of sports in shaping who she is as a person. “But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it.”

* “So for the people out there wondering what this is all about — whether it’s about courage or controversy or publicity, well, I’ll tell you what it’s all about. It’s about what happens from here,” Jenner concluded. “It’s not just about one person – it’s about thousands of people. It’s not just about me — it’s about all of us, accepting one another. We’re all different — that’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. And while it may not be easy to get past the things you always don’t understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together.”

What did you think of Jenner’s speech? Grade it in our poll below — then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Cori says:

    *Her ( in the highlights)

  2. rebecca says:

    “It’s about all of us accepting one another. We’re all different — it’s not a bad thing.” You go Caitlyn!

  3. m3rcnate says:

    >Without so much as a “Bye, Felicia” to those who said she was an unworthy choice, Caitlyn Jenner silenced her critics with a stirring

    Not so fast. It is some bullcrap that Jenner was leapfrogged over person who was in line to get it.
    Who was supposed to get the award before Jenners big coming out party in preparation for her new E! reality show? I’ll tell you; his name is Noah Galloway, who lost his arm and leg in a road-side bomb in Afghanistan while in the Army. He now competes in Crossfit events, runs marathons and competed in the 58 hour “Death Race”.
    Please….are you gonna tell me it takes more courage to come out as Trans as a already retired multi-millionaire who can cancel her reality tv show and live in a giant mansion in Hawaii never reading a single online comment or anything bad anyone has to say about you? OR is it more courageous to join the military, go to war, get your limbs blown off and then declare that won’t stop you from competing in some of the most difficult athletic events and marathons in the world?

    • Someone says:

      This entire diatribe is based off a transphobic tweet that went viral and then was proven to be erroneous in the first place. Please kindly choose to just not next time.

      • tvjunkie says:

        Nope, Caitlyn’s team strong armed ABC and forced ESPN (owned by the same company) to give Caitlyn the award in order for Diane Sawyer to get the interview. There was a whole lot of hypocrisy and selling out that went on behind the scenes. IT was ll part of the negotiations for ABC to land the interview.

    • Andy Swift says:

      Nice try to YOU, good sir. It’s been confirmed that Noah was not “in line” to receive this award. There was no leap-frogging, although I would love for that to be recognized as an official sport someday.

      • Robby says:

        Yeah, it was to be awarded to Lauren Hill. Google her. And then tell me who had real courage!

        • Sara says:

          Lauren Hill should have received the award, but instead Jenner did. It was nice to see her parents get on state and the ESPY’s give Lauren Hill the recognition she fought for and deserved!

        • MC says:

          I am very sad that Lauren Hill didn’t receive more recognition for her awe-inspiring courage. She is the ideal person to win the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. She didn’t win. Draw your own conclusions.

        • That’s bull it doesn’t take courage to face your own imminent death.

          It’s more courageous and deserving of reward when you kill somebody and seemingly escape punishment for that act.

    • Jeremy says:

      Courage comes in many different forms. Saying one person is more courageous than another is ridiculous. I don’t know why the ESPYs chose Caitlyn over Noah. But isn’t it better to accept and recognize her struggle as well? Doesn’t it get exhausting fighting acceptance??

      • Anita Wu says:

        Not when it’s an award show for athletes and Caitlin is not one at all and denounces being Bruce along with claiming Bruce’s entire athletic career was to hide Caitlin.

      • tvjunkie says:

        The didn’t chosen Caitlyn they were told if ABC wanted the Caitlyn interview with Diane Sawyer then ESPN had to give Caitlyn the award. ESPN and ABC are owned by the same parent company.

      • Please ignore the dead body caused by this ‘courageous woman.’

    • Spence says:

      I am so tired of people constantly comparing her (or any LGBTQ+ headline) to our military. Not only is that a pointless argument (who is the military supposed to be “protecting”? That’s right, trans folks and other LGBTQ+ people.) but it’s also just making an unnecessary competition for “who deserves more respect”. People need to eliminate this “either-or” mindset. Either we support our military OR we support trans people. Um, why not both? We should be rejoicing Caitlyn for her courage to do something this public and brave while simultaneously thanking our military for their service. Stop the competition, and appreciate EVERYONE for what they contribute to our world.

      Overall, beautiful speech by Caitlyn and exceptional reporting, Michael.

      • Rachie says:

        Can I ask what the ‘Q’ at the end of ‘LGBT’ stands for?! I’ve never heard the abbreviation with a Q before now.

        • Tanner says:

          I stands for Queer… It includes anyone who a) wants to identify as queer and b) who feels somehow outside of the societal norms in regards to gender or sexuality

        • Derision says:

          I wouldn’t bother trying to keep up, next month whoever will add another letter to this alphabet soup because of another “worthy cause”.

          • A3rynSun76 says:

            It’s been LGBTQ for a long while now…It’s not a cause. A cause is more descriptive of earthquake, tsunami, and hurricane victims. LGBTQ community is not asking for money, simply to be treated with the same respect all human beings deserve. The last few years the US has made exceptional strides as far as the LGB go, but trans is another issue and the Q is all about people who don’t fit in an LGBT or S box. It’s not a cause, it’s an insistence that all kinds of people get the same shot at happiness. It’s about ending discrimination because, no matter what, it’s not okay to treat another person as less than you. The original initialism LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, Gay, bisexual, trangender, transexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual), has been around for at minimum ten years. None of this is new. They shorten it because queer covers just about all of them.

        • CourtTV says:

          Q often stands for questioning. And while it is not common to use when speaking about the LGBTQ community it has been around for some time.

          • Eran says:

            “LGBTTQQIAAP” looks less like the name of a community and more like a cat sat on a keyboard. Really should hit the stop button after Q.

      • murley says:

        Well said.

    • John says:

      It’s simple: money talks. Jenner’s PR machine paid for Jenner to get the award. It has nothing to do with real courage.

    • Steven Paul says:

      How would you even know, from your armchair perspective? Attitudes like yours suck. This isn’t a competition!!!

    • Caiti says:

      I fully expect to be burned at the stake for this, buuut… I honestly think Caitlyn’s journey takes a lot of courage- possibly more. I know, I know “The military is putting their LIVES on the line!” You really think she isn’t? She’s put a big target on her back. And vets come back and are (thankfully) taken care of. All of their medical, psychological, and frankly financial needs are attended to, and they get a nice patch to wear on their forehead that says ‘hero.’ Caitlyn and other trans don’t get that. From the moment they make that decision, they are attacked from family, friends, and in Caitlyn’s case, the media, and every 2 bit person on the internet who thinks their opinion means anything. That’s not a life I’d wish on my worst enemy. So is she deserving of the award? Hell yes. More deserving than anyone else is debatable, but I for one am pleased. I just hope America can follow suit, and support the men and women who have to go through all this.

      • Mary says:

        While I agree with your sentiment about Caitlyn Jenner putting her life on the line by coming out as transgender, I vehemently take issue with your incorrect assumption that all returning veterans are “taken care of.” Veterans are one of the highest populations of homeless people in this country. My friend is a social worker at the VA, and deals on a daily basis with veterans who have addictions to drugs and alcohol. So if you think returning veterans get a ticker tape parade, 10 acres and a mule when they come home, you are sorely, sorely mistaken.

      • MissM says:

        I support Caitlyn winning the award, but I do feel the need to object to your statement that “all of their medical, psychological, and frankly financial needs are attended to” which indicates you really know nothing about the issues facing veterans. On average, 22 veterans commit suicide The government isn’t doing nearly enough to support the needs of veterans, and more people need to be aware of that.

        • Caiti says:

          I should amend my statement- I actually work at a VA too, and while their care is far from the best, it is still much more than non-veterans get… Not to say it isn’t deserved. That said, I work with many, many people who got their job here simply based on their veteran status, and have money coming in from the government, so I admit openly to some bias.

          The truth is that psychological issues are largely ignored across the board, and that’s what needs to be addressed in America. That would fix a lot of things, IMO.

      • tvjunkie says:

        So you had your head in the sand and completely missed the entire neglected Vets VA scandal?

    • tvjunkie says:

      Well of course ESPN is going to deny it, but such a denial is not proof. Of course the liberal media just accepted the denial, no real investigation required. Then again the email proof was on Hilliary Clinton’s email server so we know they’re gone never to be seen again.

      • Angela says:

        Oh, of course, it’s all a liberal media conspiracy! It makes so much sense now!
        Yeah, seriously, not everything is some big evil cover up. I think you’re reading way too much into this.

  4. roner teser says:

    Didn’t Jenner recently kill somebody? Why is this being ignored?

    • Robby says:

      Shhhh, political correctness and all that jazz.

    • Yes. When she was a man(technically, it’s not cut off so She still IS A MAN) She hit 2 cars in front of her and pushed them into oncoming traffic, where one of the drivers was hit by a car going the other way and was killed. She wasn’t charged with anything yet, but She isn’t the least bit remorseful about the death of the lady that was killed. In my state someone doing exactly what she did would be charged with manslaughter. Being a rich HeBE SheBE has its priviledges, I guess.

    • Jerri says:

      That wasn’t Caitlyn Jenner, that was Bruce Jenner, two different people in her/his mind. ;-) That’s the defence they’ll be going with in court too, I’m sure.

    • Susan says:

      I agree! He did kill someone recently and they just ignore it like usual.

  5. LADY_in_MD says:

    That was a great speech the intro was a little lengthy but I was touched by her speech we do need to do more for the trans youth thank you Caitlyn for highlighting an important issue 😀

  6. Court says:

    I think this speech was moving and inspiring. People need to not judge and criticize people who are transgender. They do have feelings. Caitlin makes a valid point when she says that people should be more accepting.

    • Anita Wu says:

      If the criticism is directly linked to their being trans, then I agree it’s not warranted. However, If they are people, they deserve to receive criticism for the things they do or say. Just as they would get if they were not trans. It’s as silly as people saying women should not be criticized at all because it’s sexist.

    • Mary says:

      I agree the speech was inspiring and was passionate; after saying that I still don’t believe he should have won the award. Sorry Lauren Hill was more deserving in my eyes. Whatever, I didn’t have a vote in the matter.

  7. Robby says:

    Shame on ESPN. First giving the award to Mount St. Joesph Women’s Basketball player Lauren Hill. A woman who battled against brain cancer to rejoin her team to play one more game before he death. Instead of celebrating a profile in courage worthy of the Ashe Award, ESPN and the V Foundation decided to go the PC route and give it to a person who’s “act or courage” does not rise to the level of Ms. Hill.

    If Ms. Jenner had any class, she would have given the award to the Hill family. But I guess that’s what living with those demons, The Kardashians, can do to you!

    • rebecca says:

      I don’t understand all the hate. What are you afraid of?

      • Robby says:

        Not hate. Hey, there are some hot Transsexuals out there. It’s what is true courage or not. Ms. Jenner CHOSE to have gender reassignment surgery. Ms. Hill didn’t choose to have brain cancer. Ms. Jenner ‘fought’ to be back on a reality show. Ms. Hill fought her cancer to rejoin her teammates on the b-ball court one more time.

        I don’t see how anyone can see how Ms. Jenner is the greater profile in courage? And if Arthur Ashe were around, neither would he.

        • Andy Swift says:

          Oh, did Arthur Ashe’s ghost tell you that? Let’s keep speaking for dead people.

        • Angela says:

          You are right about the choice issue. That is a valid point. And I completely agree that Ms. Hill’s determination to play while battling cancer is very commendable and brave and worthy of recognition.
          I think the difference is, though, that cancer is such a prevalent part of society nowadays-everybody knows someone who’s had cancer, if they themselves haven’t been diagnosed with it. And everyone has had and seen plenty of stories of people doing what they love while battling a life-threatening cancer diagnosis. That’s not to take away from the inspirational and brave nature of those stories, of course, not at all. Just that it’s a very commonplace thing nowadays.
          Many people don’t know someone who’s transgendered, though, and don’t have the kind of understanding of that issue that they do cancer. As Caitlyn noted, there are teenagers committing suicide because of the horrific harassment they face from people who don’t understand, who are ignorant and prejudiced and see nothing wrong with acting that way. There are people who are struggling with their feelings about their identity. Caitlyn’s speech informs those people that they’re not alone in having those struggles, and shows that it’s okay for them to be who they are (regardless of whether they go the full distance of gender reassignment surgery or not), and that they deserve to be treated with the same respect as anyone else. That’s a big deal, as is her ability to educate the public at large on an issue that’s still woefully misunderstood and cruelly mocked.
          Is there some personal gain in her getting this award and getting attention? Sure, probably so. But so long as she’s giving people who struggled the way she used to hope, and so long as people become educated on this issue and move towards understanding and acceptance, I say it’s worth giving her the time and space and attention.

          • Mary says:

            I think it is great the she helps educate but lets be real. Many Trans do not have the means to become who they are. I think it is great she helps the cause however, this award has to do with sports not changing peoples conscious. I really feel their were more deserving candidates.

          • Angela says:

            @Mary: I think it is great she helps the cause however, this award has to do with sports not changing peoples conscious.
            The awards show in general is sports-oriented, yes, but this particular award dealt with honoring any athlete who’s done something courageous. Considering how stereotypically macho the athletic world can be (look at some of the controversy and freaking out people had over the mere idea of openly gay football players being in the league), considering how continually misunderstood and mistreated the transgender community is, for Caitlyn, a well-known athlete, to come out as she is and make no apologies for being who she is, I’d say that IS rather courageous.
            Whether people do or don’t have the means, or want/choose, to go through the complete change like Caitlyn did is irrelevant. They may or may not choose to have the surgery, but their feelings about their identity aren’t controlled or chosen either way. Even if Caitlyn hadn’t had the surgery, she’d still be who she truly is, and would want to openly live her life that way. Again, I find that courageous.

        • nobody special says:

          Fighting a war, losing limbs and coming back to a full life = courage.
          Fighting cancer, coming back to the sport you love = courage
          Fighting your own body, accepting that you are so very, very different, announcing it to the world and telling that world “Take your best shot” knowing that they will, but hoping that attention to gender disphoria might create more knowledge, less hate and help some kids = courage.

          Can anybody tell me why one kind of courage would cancel out any of the others?

          • Robby says:

            All three are about courage, but is all three the same ‘courage’?
            The first and second subjects have a higher degree of courage. But we’ll take the soldier our of this equation since that wasn’t about sports. So who had the greater degree of courage? Someone who chose to do this or someone fighting terminal cancer?

            Your problem is you are treating the two with the same degree of courage. To me, it’s no contest who show more courage.

            I’ll stand by my statement that ESPN/ABC/Disney is a corporation that will do the thing that is politically correct, every time. They have punished on-air and web personalities for saying thing that didn’t match what is good speak (Orwell was right, he was just 33 years off)!

        • KCC says:

          To me courage is about difficult choices. Ms. Hill did not chose to get cancer but she chose to continue living her life to it’s fullest after the diagnosis. While commendable, I don’t know that I would call that courage. Her options were sit in a hospital and wait to die or make the most of life for as long as she could. I don’t know that Ms. Hill made any sacrifices to rejoin her teammates. I do know changes were made to the schedule and venue to accommodate her illness. Her decisions were about her life and how she wanted to live out her remaining time. She made her choices without worrying about being called names or threatened with physical harm. I’m not saying this to belittle Ms. Hill or her choices. My condolences to her family and friends for their loss. Ms. Jenner on the other hand knows there are bigots and misinformed people out there that will cause her and her family grief. I suppose you could say it would be more courageous for her to suffer in silence. You would not say that about Lauren Hill, but celebrate her bravery for confronting what life has dealt her. While your comment might not rise to the level of hate, it is misinformed about the “choices” transgender people have to make. The one choice they don’t make is to be transgender. It’s who they are. FYI: your comment about some transsexuals being “hot” does not prove your acceptance of them, it just highlights a superficial view of people.

    • KCC says:

      To me courage is about difficult choices. Ms. Hill did not chose to get cancer but she chose to continue living her life to it’s fullest after the diagnosis. While commendable, I don’t know that I would call that courage. Her options were sit in a hospital and wait to die or make the most of life for as long as she could. I don’t know that Ms. Hill made any sacrifices to rejoin her teammates. I do know changes were made to the schedule and venue to accommodate her illness. Her decisions were about her life and how she wanted to live out her remaining time. She made her choices without worrying about being called names or threatened with physical harm. I’m not saying this to belittle Ms. Hill or her choices. My condolences to her family and friends for their loss. Ms. Jenner on the other hand knows there are bigots and misinformed people out there that will cause her and her family grief. I suppose you could say it would be more courageous for her to suffer in silence. You would not say that about Lauren Hill, but celebrate her bravery for confronting what life has dealt her. While your comment might not rise to the level of hate, it is misinformed about the “choices” transgender people have to make. The one choice they don’t make is to be transgender. It’s who they are. FYI: your comment about some transsexuals being “hot” does not prove your acceptance of them, it just highlights a superficial view of people.

      • KCC says:

        I apologize for the duplicate post.

      • MC says:

        “Made her choices?” Lauren was suffering from the debilitating symptoms of inoperable brain cancer. She contracted the disease at 18 and died at 19. She raised about 1.5 million for cancer research through her non-profit foundation. The most unbelievable quote I’ve read is ” I don’t know that I would call that courage.” That is an absurd, repugnant statement.

  8. i wanna say i am all for equal rights of the LGBT people & am proud of Caitlyn.
    i don’t follow the whole sports stuff. I didn’t watch the show & i don’t who the short list was for the award but to say that picking her was not any way a ratings ploy is a lie.

    Now i’m not saying it was the only reason, & i’m not saying it was the main reason, i’m not even saying it was even remotely high on the list of reasons but it is an awards show
    It’s 49% awards 51% show.

    Picking someone to win an award that people know & that will get people talking is not a bad thing it’s just SHOW business. & i don’t understand why no one will own up to it.

  9. Joni says:

    Yes, it moved me – especially when Catlyn spoke of trans kids being murdered or committing suicide.
    Bruce’s courage in becoming Caitlyn may just save lives.
    She truly is a profile in courage.

  10. Yeahman says:

    Sorry folks but she’s a he and no amount of surgeries will change that. And plus he should have thought about his kids. They grew up with him as a father and for him to suddenly change to someone else is completely selfish.

    • CK says:

      You are a terrible person who is incredibly ignorant of the struggles that transparents go through. I would say educate yourself, but you’d be best off in a hole secluded from humanity.

      • julia says:

        Why..because he/she expressed what most people think but fear to express because apparently any slight criticism or difference in opinion regarding Caitlyn/Bruce is now considered ignorant!! Please…let people air their views freely

        • Katherine215 says:

          Sure. And we’re free to air our views that those comments are ignorant and uneducated and disgusting. And “most people” is not at all accurate so don’t pretend to speak for other people just to make your repulsive view point seem more valid.

    • Eran says:

      You are a bona fide bully is what you are. I pity the people who rely on you for emotional support.

    • Lizo says:

      Her kids are adults, they are old enough to fully understand what’s going on and adapt. Plus, a lot of young children with trans parents adapt just fine.

      • Yeahman says:

        I do apologize for any offense or any hurt feelings. I still hold my opinion but I know it’s not my place to judge.

  11. Steve says:

    1) Even if Noah was in line to get the award.. he shoudldn’t. If we’re going to honor him for what he’s done for our country, we have to honor EVERYONE who has served our country. Not just one person. 2) I don’t understand why we can’t accept her for who she is and move on.. if u don’t like her, okay. She’s not going to kill you. Stop the complaining and move on.

    • Anita Wu says:

      If you think the only reason people wanted Noah to win the award was because he was a wounded veteran, then you are deeply ignorant to his story and accomplishments.

    • leia says:

      no she’s already responsible for someone else’s death. Courage is also accepting your mistake and making an account. Talk to the police Ms Jenner.

  12. Tom says:

    Slay, girl, slay!!!!

  13. Kate says:

    I think what some people are overlooking with Caitlyn is how much courage it takes to put yourself out there. Lauren and Noah both have great stories as well, but they’ve have both been pretty universally supported in their pursuits. Read through Twitter or any comment section of an article on Caitlyn and you’ll see the massive amounts of abuse that are being heaped upon her. She could have chosen to remain out of the spotlight but instead chose to go public to help others. The fact that someone who was branded the strongest man in the world identifies as a woman shatters a stereotype. Being willing to stand up and be the conversation starter is a big deal. Having people like her in the public eye will go a long way toward helping trans issues. If you’ve read about Arthur Ashe you know he was about educating people and standing up for others. That’s why Caitlyn was such an appropriate choice since she’s doing just that for people who may never have been exposed to someone who is transgender or understand what that means. It’s not that Lauren and Nosh aren’t courageous, it’s that Caitlyn happened to better embody the spirit of the award given how controversial trans issues still are.

    • Anita Wu says:

      Maybe people would feel like she deserved it after she’s done more than a spread for Vanity Fair and filmed a reality show. The fact is, aside from Bruce revealing he’s actually Caitlin, she’s done nothing courageous. And simply giving her the award for saying that is a bit premature, to say the least. That’s like giving someone your house because they said they would like to buy it. She hasn’t put her money where her mouth is. Also, she basically erased her accomplishments as Bruce by claiming she only worked that hard to desperately hide her feminine side.

      • KCC says:

        The “aside from Bruce revealing he’s actually Caitlin” is why she received the award. That took major courage. This will be with her for the rest of her life. No matter what else she does. The gold metal will become part of that story. The speech and magazine covers and stories are part of the public record now and she will be asked about it and given unsolicited opinions forever. Both positive and negative. I’m certain she only received positive responses to winning the gold metal. Now all that will change. Giving that up and knowing there will be people that hate you just for who you are, takes a lot of courage. How has her winning the gold metal been “erased” because of what she used as motivation? Would Jesse Owens’ gold metals be erased if it was reveled he used the racism he experienced in his life as motivation?

  14. Mary says:

    I’m not sure why people are trying to limit what it means to be brave. Many people would have been worthy of that award, but it doesn’t diminish Caitlyn’s bravery or what she’s done for the transgender community.

    The segment went on a little long, and so did the speech, but if anything is going to drag out in an awards show, let it be a message of acceptance.

  15. Jeanie Buchanan says:

    I loved Bruce in ’76 as I watched him become an Olympic champion. I thought this award was a year too soon until tonight. During Caitlyn’s speech, I was moved to tears. She was fantastic, radiant and spot on in her comments. In that setting, with all the testosterone, she became a champion again. Courage at its highest. Bravo Caitlyn’s!

  16. says:

    Very inspiring! Go Caitlin!

  17. AngelWasHere says:

    Lauren Hill should of won this award and that’s all I’ll say, because my opinion of this person is not a popular one. I don’t feel like being attacked.

  18. Spignejr says:

    honestly, all these people bashing Caitlyn because she hasn’t done anything courageous… Let me tell you. Until you cry tears with your family because you have to tell her you were born different than how society says you should be, how you’ve accepted this, and want to be happy, but are scared to death your family is not going to accept you, and might in turn cast you out of their lives. Until you have to explain to every nosy, ignorant person what it means to be gay or bi or transgender because they aren’t and don’t understand how someone can be so “weird”. Until you are bullied and harassed every day for 6 years, and decide it would be better to lie to yourself than face the truth because those bullies would win. Until you have done those things, don’t dare say that what Caitlyn has done is not courageous. Coming out to your family is one of the hardest things to do. Coming out to a nation of scrutinizers

    • Ginger Snap says:

      Blah, blah, blah.
      Who gets to define courage?
      A well off celebrity who is connected to the Kardashian family?
      Someone who draws ratings every time that person speaks?
      It’s interesting that this has become a discussion about passing value judgements on courage.
      As someone who is dealing with Stage IV breast cancer, everyone of these people are just dealing with the cards that life dealt them. One isn’t more heroic or ccourageouos than the other. But one is more famous than the other.

      • nobody special says:

        Why on EARTH are we “defining” courage? Ms. Hill was courageous, and her contributions to her sport, to cancer research, and to the Human race are tremendous. She will be missed greatly and will never be forgotten. Nobody has ever attacked her for having cancer or for playing basketball. Mr.Galloway is courageous, and his sacrifice for his country and for our freedoms are also tremendous, and will never be forgotten. He has become an awe inspiring sports figure, and someone to hold as an example to everyone, amputees and non amputees alike. While he may have been attached for serving in the military, he’s mostly been admired and praised. Ms. Jenner was courageous in speaking out about a taboo subject, raising awareness and allowing young people who are in danger of bullying, abuse, murder and suicide a voice and a public face. John Doe can’t get the word out about a subject like this – an Olympic Gold Medalist can. Bruce Jenner knew that there would be attacks and hatred when he sat down to speak about this. Caitlyn Jenner did it anyway. For herself, and for the kids that don’t have access to that publicity. Not one of these people is “more” or “less” courageous than the other, courage isn’t measurable, or definable, it’s just courage.

        • Ginger Snap says:

          Here’s the problem.
          Some people here have chosen to lecture us about courage. Because we can’t possibly know what it means to be transgender. To justify their position, they are minimizing the experience of others who are also dealing with difficult situations.
          Again, I am dealing with Stage IV breast cancer. There’s been some difficult days in the past year. Some aspects of the disease that made me socially unacceptable because of a foul odor from a wound. If I went out in public, I would hear nasty comments because of the smell.But
          Again, in order to educate us about transgender issues, some insensitive people are dismissing the problems that others are facing.

  19. AW says:

    I didn’t watch this show, but there are other more worthy candidates (and perhaps less famous) that the award should have gone to other than KJ for this year.

  20. leia says:

    I’m fine with the speech, but when we select out only those few we can identify with in their co struggle, as if they are more significant than any one else who suffered and may have died, such as Katie Stinle, or any young kid of color in Chicago over the last few months, well that’s a problem for me . We all struggle with our identity in a way, do we want to be for good or for evil, helpful or selfish, hard working or not, those are identities too. How many bad things happen every day with no shout out for those victims. That includes a certain car accident in Malibu, step up and be a stand up person Cate and talk to the police. Then I’ll believe you actually care.

    • Mara says:

      If she had read the names of every murdered Transgendered person or every one that has committed suicide, she’d have have needed her own show. She chose the two that resonated the most with her.

      And she said as far back as the Diane Sawyer interview that she is unable to comment in any way about the accident due to legal reasons, which is par for the course in any situation like this. And if she did, then everyone would be screaming that she’s profiting from the death of the woman and playing for sympathy. And I’m sure the family appreciates not having daily reminders of their loved one’s death via the media’s incessant clickbait headlines.

  21. Mr. Smith says:

    Unpopular opinion here, but the award should have gone to someone who showed courage such as the soldier who lost both his legs in battle. I’m glad she/he is happy with her change, but the type of courage that is award worthy is something else entirely different than what she went through. It isn’t hate, just stating a fact of true courage is helping someone else, not one’s self.

    • Angela says:

      She is helping other people, though. Other transgendered people are looking at her and realizing that it’s okay for them to be who they are, too, and are happy she’s doing her part to explain to the public at large what transgendered people deal with day in and day out, personally and in their interactions with other people.
      Help comes in a variety of forms, and giving a community a voice and hope is a form of helping.

  22. Mr. Smith says:

    One more thing: Another candidate could have been Stuart Scott, who passed away after a long battle with cancer. It doesn’t have to be military, just someone who has exhibited courage to make other lives better, not just their own.

  23. Nona says:

    This whole Bruce/ Caitlin thing had really become a media circus. Unbelievable how the media and USA had sunk so low!!!! Everything for the ratings, attention and $$$.

  24. lily says:

    Still sounds and looks like a man.

  25. JB says:

    Why are we so off-topic here. The question was whether her speech moved anyone, not whether she should have won the award.

  26. j says:

    It’s very annoying to see anyone in the LGBT community trying to justify courage and saying all courage is the same…makes me laugh. First of all, anyone who doesn’t agree with anything the LGBT community supports or says is a hater, racist, or homophobe. They are so quick to label people….listen, get over yourselves. Bruce sicko Caitlyn Jenner is not a hero…and how the hell does that relate to athletics. That poor girl who had brain cancer that still fought and played with her team before she died showed courage. Yes, all the vets who fight and put their lives on the line are courageous and heroic. Vets who lose limbs and still have the courage to get back and compete as athletes are courageous. Coming out of the closet because you’re already got busted being a cross dresser is not courageous. Listen…it is not Courageous. This is all PC nonsense and everybody knows it.

    • Angela says:

      …yeeeeeeah, you DO know that transgenderism is vastly different and much more complex than “being a cross-dresser”, right? The two are not automatically one and the same.
      And pray tell, if someone calls gay/bi/trans people horrible names, and bullies them, or tries to “turn them straight” or refuses to accept them as they are, what exactly are people supposed to call those who do that stuff and treat that community in such disrespectful, cruel ways? If people don’t treat others with respect, they’re going to be called out on it and called what they truly are. If they don’t like that, then maybe they should learn to treat people better.
      And how does this relate to athletics? Well, Caitlyn was a world-famous athlete, Just ’cause she’s not Bruce anymore doesn’t mean her accomplishments as an athlete are now invalid.

      • Lizabeth Horton says:

        I agree, however it has been said that Bruce hated who he was during his time as “America’s superstar” and never revealed in public the struggles he was going through. He competed as a male, received his medals as a male and was admired by all as the top male athlete of our time, NOT Caitlyn a female athlete! and shouldn’t be recognized for the accomplishments that Bruce received. Let her new journey be one of helping others understand, accept and believe but enough of this band wagon that the media is directing. In my opinion let the past go, we’ve heard the woes enough she needs to start new goals and achievements that will leave a good impression on those of us that are Verrrrrrry tired of all of the what, when’s and why’s of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. But one thing I absolutely hate is how absorbed we all are in this, me included. It won’t get better (media ways) until we all stop admiring the gossip and admire the true heroes that received their just awards at the ESPY’s. Thanks for listening.

  27. Ginger Snap says:

    At the end of the day, this is about ESPN and ABC.

    Seems like anything about Caitlin Jenner makes for high ratings.

    The other candidates just weren’t going to bring in the numbers, even if her story is boring

  28. Mike says:

    What has she done in between her Olympic win to becoming a woman in sports? Has this open opened the door to other transgender sports player to come out. Have there been any moving tributes at sporting event devoted to her?

    See this is a sports award. Not a courage award. Not a LGTB award. Not a “you go girl” award. You have so many athletes who have done so much more.

    If Will Smith came out, people would ssy give him an Espy because he played golf in a movie that one time. That’s the exact same as what going on here.

  29. James Adams says:

    I have nothing against Caitlyn Jenner or transgender people at all but for her to win the Arthur Ashe Courage award is disgusting. It is a ratings ploy at best. Lauren Hill the 19 year old college basketball player who fought through her cancer so she could keep playing and be an insipiration for her team and for women everywhere deserved this award. ESPN and ABC should be ashamed.

  30. Lizabeth Horton says:

    I believe in “to each his own” but enough is enough. Caitlyn/Bruce deserves a pat on the back for finally living her life as she needs to but the whole world does not need to be a part of it. Bruce was and is a great athelete but shouldn’t of received this award. I believe it was only given because his journey is so news worthy and there’s many others that should of been considered.

  31. Andrea says:

    I do not consider Caitlyn Jenner a hero for the simple reason that Chaz Bono has been transgender for years! If I were Chaz, I’d be annoyed that everyone considers Caitlyn to be some great revelation for something that has already occurred in the public eye. The change was in the reverse direction, but Caityn isn’t as unique as we’re supposed to think she is. She simply opportunistically took advantage of the fact that she was once married to a Kardashian. That was the only thing that made Bruce relevant before he transitioned to Caitlyn.

  32. Scott Burks says:

    Reason #327 not to watch ESPN, and I am huge sports fan.

  33. ree says:

    So what now that she has become an artificial woman, does she now feel that she is actual a man trapped in a woman’s body? This to me is a sad display of a psychological mental disorder? No matter what the mind says, anatomically and physically, Caitlyn is a man. To be a woman is more than just clothes, hair and makeup. We should not be celebrating this as accepting a different group of people, but we should see this as a type of psychological disorder. the lesson here is to know how to support and love our love one who may be trapped in such a mental warfare of the mind, and discourage them from doing painful sex changes in order satisfy what the mind is telling them. We just need to allow that person to be who they think they are in their natural body.