Monday, July 20, 2015

Yesterday's News

Ok, I realize this is yesterday's news but I was thinking about it over the weekend and I read some really nasty comments online about the Arthur Ash Courage award going to Kaitlyn Jenner.   Let me say right off the bat I watched the ESPY awards for the first time because I wanted to see Kaitlyn Jenner receive the award.  I was curious.  I wanted to hear what she had to say.  The moment they called her name I could see her nervousness but she went on to deliver what I thought was an eloquent speech and clearly she was trying to educate and inform the public about transgenderism.  

Now there seems to be a lot of disagreement as to what constitutes courage.  People referred to Jenner online as an "it" and undeserving of such an award.  Maybe they don't know that much about Arthur Ashe for whom the courage award is dedicated.

Arthur Ashe was the first African American to win the men's singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the first black American to be ranked No. 1 in the world.

When Ashe learned that he had contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion  he initially kept the news hidden from the public. But in 1992, Ashe came forward with the news after he learned that USA Today was working on a story about his health battle. Finally free from the burden of trying to hide his condition, (sound familiar?)  Ashe poured himself into the work of raising awareness about the disease. He delivered a speech at the United Nations, started a new foundation, and laid the groundwork for a $5 million fundraising campaign for the institution.  He turned his efforts to raising awareness of the disease, before finally succumbing to it on February 6, 1993.

I don't know about anyone else but I see some similarities between Ashe's story and Jenner's.  There was a lot of stigma associated with aids at the time Ashe was diagnosed but  he chose to use his public image in an attempt to educate people about the disease. 

Arthur Ashe described heroism this way, " True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." 

I believe he would not have objected to this year's recipient of the award named in his honor.


Olga Hebert said...

Thanks, Dani. It may be yesterday's news, but it is worth repeating and I am especially glad you educated us about the Arthur Ashe award. I think it was most appropriately awarded this yeaar.

Gwen said...

Excellent post. There is still so much bigotry of every type out there, even now...