Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Big Mouth: Peter Berg Slams Caitlyn Jenner
This year, Olympic gold-medal decathlete Bruce Jenner has become Caitlyn Jenner, won the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and given an acceptance speech that's gone viral, saying things like:
If you want to call me names … go ahead. I can take it,” Jenner said, “but for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it.
It's been the feel-good story of the summer, right? Well, not exactly. Awarding Jenner the Courage award has been publicly questioned by sports pundits and fans everywhere. Even Bob Costas, who seemed like he'd be a sucker for this story, said on the Dan Patrick Show:
It strikes me that awarding the Arthur Ashe Award to Caitlyn Jenner is just a crass exploitation play – it’s a tabloid play.
Kinda snotty, but that was nothing compared to the in-your-face reposting of an Instagram picture by "Friday Night Lights" executive producer Peter Berg:
That's not really the way Coach Taylor would have handled it. Look, we get what you're trying to say, Pete, but saying it at the cost of someone's dignity is going too far. More than a few people saw it the same way.
To Peter Berg: Entitled to your opinion. The way you went about giving it? Despicable and transphobic. Shame on you! http://t.co/x0XC19DBz8
— Anne Mathewson (@AnneMathewson) July 16, 2015
— slowbird 2.1 (@slowb1rd) July 16, 2015
I stopped paying any real attention to Peter Berg after VERY BAD THINGS, so feeling pret-ty smug right now.
— Matt Miller (@millerunc) July 16, 2015
Of course, like anyone who has said something in social media that might impact their income stream, Berg backtracked. He later posted another picture in honor of veterans and wrote:
I have the utmost respect for Caitlyn Jenner and I am a strong supporter of equality and the rights of trans people everywhere. I also believe that we don’t give enough attention to our courageous returning war veterans, many of whom have sacrificed their bodies and mental health for our country and our principals- principals that include the freedom to live the life you want to live without persecution or abuse.
That's a great sentiment, but it also sound exactly like someone written by an attorney, or a PR person, or both. And those types of statements are tiresome, perfunctory and hollow. And that goes for the entire statement, not just the offensive part.
I guess Peter Berg's definition of an apology is to give the barest of compliments and then repeat the dumb shit that you got called out on.
— Mason Daniel (@BuddyBoyBaxter) July 17, 2015
Photo via Getty
David Young has been a columnist for ESPN and Sports Illustrated and is one for SportsGrid.
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