ESPN announced Caitlyn Jenner as the recipient of this year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Yep. You read that right: Caitlyn Jenner. Courage Award. ESPN. Ashe. Recipient. Announced. Year. The. Of this. As. Arthur. ‘s.
This begs the obvious question: How is it possible in Jesus Christ’s America that this noble, honorable, dare I say it, BEAUTIFUL bald eagle did not even get an honorable mention?
You want to talk athleticism? Let’s see Caitlyn Jenner reach speeds of 30 mph while carrying a fish between a glorious, yellow beak. And don’t even get me started on their comparative wingspan.
Do you think Caitlyn Jenner uses the highly-developed talon on her hind toe to pierce and immobilize her prey? That’s what I thought.
Startling Fact: A bald eagle has never won an award for its bravery. Incredible, right? How has arguably the most iconic symbol of the Home of the Brave never been given so much as a participation sash?
You think being transgender in today’s world is hard? Try being a member of a species formerly labeled as “threatened” and “endangered.” That’s a stigma that still affects the Bald Eagle today. Just think about how often you’ve mistakenly referred to the Bald Eagle as “endangered” post-2007, when it was removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Probably more than you’d be willing to admit if you ever came face-to-face with this majestic creature in the feathery, winged flesh.
Some may claim that this is a moot point. That recognizing Caitlyn Jenner for this award does not equate to people saying that bald eagles don’t symbolize bravery. That recognizing Caitlyn Jenner for this award is a small but significant recognition of an entire demographic of people who have been otherwise unrecognized by history. That the American public widely accepts a literal bird as a symbol for courage but has trouble saying the same for, say, a human person who is part of a population who has been and still is persecuted for simply trying to exist as his or herself.
To them, I say this: Okay, but wouldn’t it be fucking cool to see an eagle hold a trophy?