Disable Vet Was Runner Up to Bruce Jenner for Arthur Ashe Courage Award-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
After ESPN announced that it would award the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Bruce Jenner for publicly transitioning to a woman, rumors spread across social media sites that Noah Galloway, a double amputee war veteran, came in second place to Jenner.
ESPN said that there is no “runner up” for its Arthur Ashe Courage Award, so this claim appears to be false.
The rumor that Army Sgt. Noah Galloway, a double amputee CrossFit athlete who gained national attention after competing on “Dancing with the Stars,” was the runner up to Caitlyn Jenner for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award started with a tweet by Boston Herald columnist and radio host Gerry Callahan. Callahan tweeted a picture of Galloway with the comment, “Caitlyn Jenner wins Arthur Ashe Courage Award. And the runner up is…”
Gerry Callahan told the Boston Globe that “anyone who knows me, my radio show or my history Twitter,” would know that the tweet was meant to be sarcastic, not factual. The Boston Globe reports that Callahan continued:
“It wasn’t until it made it around the globe that it got a little out of hand. I laughed. I was glad to see the Lauren Hill fans jump on board. They should be pissed. She would have been a great choice. I personally would have chosen Pete Frates (to win the award). But would have had no problem if the honor had gone to Lauren Hill or Noah Galloway. You can admire Jenner all you want, but to put Caitlyn in the discussion with those real-life heroes is just silly. ESPN should give itself an award for over-the-top pandering.”
Gerry Callahan’s tweet that Noah Galloway was the runner up to Caitlyn Jenner touched off a firestorm on social media sites. ESPN quickly weighed in and said that the award didn’t have a “runner up.” It also added in a statement:
“The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is meant to honor individuals whose contributions transcend sports through courageous action. Sometimes that courage is demonstrated over the course of a lifetime and sometimes it is demonstrated in a single act that shines a light on an important contemporary issue. At all times, there are many worthy candidates. This year, we are proud to honor Caitlyn Jenner embracing her identity and doing so in a public way to help move forward a constructive dialogue about progress and acceptance.”
Some argue that ESPN still chose Caitlyn Jenner for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award over Noah Galloway, even if the sports network doesn’t officially name a “runner up.” The National Report commented that:
“…Galloway wasn’t the ‘runner-up.’ The reality, however, is even worse — there’s no evidence that a magnificently courageous man like Galloway was even considered for the award. And if he was indeed considered (or another worthy recipient like Lauren Hill, a college basketball player who died this year after a terrible battle with cancer) and passed over for Jenner, it’s even more absurd.”
Based on the fact that ESPN has never before named a runner up for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and the fact that there’s no way to tell who the sports network considered or didn’t consider for the award, we’re classifying this one as fiction.