Bob Costas called ESPN's decision to award Caitlyn Jenner with the Arther Ashe Courage Award a "crass exploitation play."
The veteran broadcaster said that while he has no qualms over Jenner's transition from a man to a woman, he believes there are other more worthy candidates in the world of sports.
"In the broad world of sports, I’m pretty sure they could’ve found someone -- and this is not anything against Caitlyn Jenner -- who was much closer actively involved in sports, who would’ve been deserving of what that award represents," Costas said on "The Dan Patrick Show."
He continued to say that ESPN's decision to award Jenner was merely to "attract eyeballs."
"I think this is just a play to pump up the audience, the way lots of things are put on television to attract eyeballs -- not because of the validity but because of whatever the kind of gawker factor is."
That's not to say he doesn't find Jenner's story courageous, he said.
"That's not to say that it doesn't take some measure of personal courage to do what Caitlyn Jenner has done," he said. "I wish Caitlyn Jenner well, and anyone — even if most of us do not fully understand it — anyone seeking to find the identity they're comfortable with and to live the happiest possible life without intentionally hurting anyone else...I think we're moving toward a more tolerant society, and that's all for the good, and I wish Caitlyn all the happiness in the world and all the peace of mind in the world."
Costas isn't the first to cry foul over Jenner's win. Many took to social media to criticize ESPN for not choosing Mount St. Joseph basketball player Lauren Hill, who battled brain cancer while staying on the university team. The 19-year-old lost her fight against cancer on April 10.
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.
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