The Arthur Ashe award was invented to pay tribute to a brave American. Ashe grew up in Richmond Virginia, and was born on July 10, 1943, and is the only African-American male to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He grew up in an isolated south when blacks and whites were separated in the 1960’s and 70’s. Above all, he was much more than just a great tennis player.
Ashe was the first black man to be rated number one in the world. He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988 during emergency surgery on his brain, and when he was hospitalized for paralysis in his right arm, however, it is thought that he got the virus from a blood transfusion in 1983 during a heart bypass operation. For five years, he put all of his energy into raising consciousness to the virus. In 1993 he died from AIDS-related pneumonia. It was his work as a humanitarian, and social justice that made the Award come to be, but not the fact that he was an amazing tennis player that served 26 aces that helped him to win the U.S. Open in 1968.
Ashe thought that his remarkable achievement brought on an enormous responsibility, so throughout his 10-year career of playing professional tennis, he dedicated himself to bringing down the walls of social stereotyping, discrimination, and poverty. Two weeks before his death he was supposed to receive an award in Boston, but he was too sick to make the trip. The Ashe award is to pay tribute to a true American for his or her bravery.
This year the award is going to pay tribute to Caitlyn Jenner for her courage to come out in public, and stand strong on her convictions. The Arthur Ashe award pays tribute to Jenner for being a brave American, and at a time when there is so much social controversy for transgender personalities.
Amidst the rumors of Noah Galloway being considered for the award, and Jenner beating him out, ESPN has reported that it is absolutely not true. There never was any other choice for it, and Jenner was the only one to be well-thought-of for the award. So many people heard the rumor and went pathological posting on social media, and news sites without researching on either the ESPY or Ashe awards. Along with the consistent postings of Galloway with images, which brought some negative remarks about Jenner, and the transgender society.
The social media chain of comments concluded with a girl posting that it was false, but some rumors tend to stick around, and this one did. A CNN news anchor in sports tweeted that the allegations were indeed false. The reason that ESPN chose Jenner was for her positive discussion towards public acceptance of a very serious subject. The sports anchor Rachel Nichols ended with a clear message to everyone on the social media circuit, which stated while wanting to make a point about something that one may feel strong about could be a good thing, however it is important to do a little research before posting a comment. Otherwise there may be a certain amount of humiliation to deal with.
This year’s Arthur Ashe award for a brave American is for courage on a subject that many face humiliation, and controversy over. The award for 2015 is to show that people should learn tolerance over situations they do not truly understand. Courage to be true to ones self in a society that is more times than not judgmental, and somewhat cruel for what it does not approve of is sometimes not an easy thing to possess.
By Katherine Miller-Chichester
bio.com: Arthur Ashe biology
Inquisitr: Caitlyn Jenner over Noah Galloway rumor debunked: no runner-up for Ashe award says ESPN
Arthurashe.org: Arthur Ashe, humanitarian, conscience leader, athlete, and educator
Photo courtesy of Raja Sambasivan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons license