NEW YORK – Caitlyn Jenner excitedly wrote on Twitter “What the hell am I going to wear?” when it was announced that the reality star was to be honored at next month’s ESPY’s with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.
Caitlyn is the new female identity of former Olympic gold-medal winner Bruce Jenner, which was revealed Monday
But now some are crying foul over ESPN’s decision to choose Jenner, 65, instead of Mount St. Joseph basketball player Lauren Hill, who courageously battled brain cancer while staying on the university team. The 19-year-old lost her fight against cancer on April 10.
Several fans took to twitter to vent their frustration.
Lauren Hill deserves the ESPY award for courage, and it should not even be a discussion. What an absolute embarrassment. #LaurenHillESPY
— Josh (@WizardofBozBus) June 3, 2015
#LaurenHillESPY Elective surgery isn't courage or bravery. Fighting brain cancer with grace and dignity at 19 is. Lauren is most deserving.
— Kristin (@KristinHunteman) June 3, 2015
But Hill wasn't the only overlooked candidate people were made about. Iraq veteran Noah Galloway, who lost most of an arm and a leg fighting, but still competes in extreme sports and almost won this season's "Dancing With the Stars," also had hundreds of tweets from fans irate over Jenner's choice.
ESPN would only say to FOX411 of their decision-making process that “many people are discussed every year,” and that "there is no such thing as a runner-up." They also provided a written statement which said Jenner was chosen "to help move forward a constructive dialogue about progress and acceptance."
Mount St. Joseph University women's basketball coach Dan Benjamin told FOX411 his vote definitely would have been for Lauren.
“I can only speak for the journey I went on with Lauren. I cannot speak to anyone else’s. Of course, I want Lauren to get the award," Benjamin said.
But award or no award, Coach Benjamin is focused on carrying on Hill’s mission.
“In Lauren’s words, if we can get closer to solving cancer, that would be the greatest award," he said. "We’re biased here. We want to focus on Lauren’s mission to raise money and find a cure for DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) through the charity she supported TheCureStartsNow.org.”
As for those who are angry about ESPN's choice, Benjamin takes it in stride.
“The best part of our country is the freedom of speech," he said. "It’s more important to maintain her mission.”
The Cure Starts Now foundation concurred: "THIS is the greatest award that we could give to #LaurenHill. Today her most important legacy continues with the $4.5 million in new cancer research grant requests we have received this week alone (we have $2.7m to spend). For that, we hope that people continue to send donations to her tribute fund so that we can continue her mission to help other children battling cancer. This far surpasses any plaque or title that could be given to her."
— The Cure Starts Now (@CureStartsNow) June 3, 2015
Fox News.com Reporter and FOX411 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today's top celebrities and newsmakers. You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.