For the second year in a row, a member of the LGBT community has taken home ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award, simply for being gay or transgender. If you take issue with that, you’re a trans-phobic and vile hatemonger, according to numerous media outlets.
Peter Berg, director of such films as Lone Survivor, Friday Night Lights, and Battleship is feeling the wrath Thursday, after posting a critical image of Jenner’s ESPY selection to his Instagram page following Wednesday night’s show.
Berg shared an image of Army veteran Gregory Gadson, a double amputee who played a role in Battleship, alongside an older image of Bruce, who was still undergoing the cosmetic procedures that ESPN felt made him courageous.
A caption on the image reads: “One Man traded 2 legs for the freedom of the other to trade 2 balls for 2 boobs. Guess which Man made the cover of Vanity Fair, was praised for his courage by President Obama and is to be honored with the ‘Arthur Ashe Courage Award’ by ESPN?”
While others have been critical of ESPN for choosing Jenner over a field of qualified and brave men and women, including sportscaster Bob Costas, who called the move a “crass exploitation play,” Berg isn’t getting a pass for questioning the media’s narrative.
Thursday morning headlines such as “Peter Berg Pissed Over Caitlyn Jenner–She Doesn’t Deserve the Praise,” and “Peter Berg denounces Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY win with transphobic meme,” among others, tell the story: don’t question the narrative.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) July 16, 2015
The Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern opens his coverage of Berg’s post by writing, “The creator of the NBC series ‘Friday Night Lights’ shared a transphobic meme blasting Jenner and her Arthur Ashe Courage Award win, claiming it should have gone to a military vet.”
Stern then reiterates that Berg’s assertion that a veteran who lost two legs in Iraq is more heroic than Jenner is “transphobic.”
— Variety (@Variety) July 16, 2015
While not referring to Berg specifically, ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd slammed those critical of Jenner receiving the Courage Award Thursday.
Cowherd referred to detractors of Jenner’s selection as “phonies,” and said he is tired of hearing “the right” say they are being force fed LGBT issues on TV.
Twitter users also weighed in on the director’s post after the negative media attention:
And this is when I boycott all things related to Peter Berg…… http://t.co/M4JY2ECMCs
— Cynthia Loyst (@cynthialoyst) July 16, 2015
— Lilac is already eating turkey ⚧⚢ (@slowb1rd) July 16, 2015