ESPYS 2015: What Is Courage?

ESPYS 2015: What Is Courage?

Unknown-4Tonight, ABC aired the ESPYs, which honors athletes in various sports. Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award due to the impact she had on the transgender community. While many people were happy with this turn of events, many found it to be very controversial. For those of you who are not familiar with the award, The Arthur Ashe Courage Award (sometimes called the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage or Arthur Ashe for Courage Award) is an award that is part of the ESPY Awards. Although it is a sport-oriented award, it is not limited to sports-related people or actions, as it is presented annually to individuals whose contributions “transcend sports”.  (Source: Wikipedia)

Many people thought Lauren Hill, the nineteen year old college basketball player who battled an inoperable brain tumor while raising money for cancer research or Army veteran, personal trainer and Dancing With The Stars finalist Noah Galloway, who lost two limbs during combat should have won. Many people still think that Caitlyn, who is best known for being an Olympic decathlon winner in the 1970s was the most deserving.

This got me thinking: What is courage? How do we determine who is courageous and who should be recognized? To me, courage is standing up for what you believe in, making a change that might be out of your comfort zone, taking on life’s challenges and  overcoming the odds life may hand you.

In my opinion, all three of these amazing people were deserving of this award. While in most cases, I believe there should be only one winner, I think in a situation like this, there should be multiple winners, because there is no true definition of courage. It means different things to different people and there is no competition as to who is more courageous. Each one of these people, each past winner and many others are courageous in their own way and deserve equal recognition.

Since there are so many courageous faces that meet the criteria of this prestigious award, I think they should all be recognized, (set up in a similar fashion to the In Memoriam segments on other awards shows) not because ‘everyone should get an award,’ but because each person represents a different type of courage. No one act of courage is better than another, so why not recognize everyone who was courageous throughout the year?

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