Mark this week on the calendar folks. It’s one of the few times this writer will be saying ANYTHING positive about Bob Costas.
Normally, most of the sports world wants to take Bob Costas and smack him for the liberal elitism he displays, but on Monday in a conversation on the Dan Patrick show, Patrick got Costas started on Bruce Jenner and after saying that he and Jenner had a cordial and friendly acquaintance, Bob went on to say he wished “Caitlyn” well in a short lecture on tolerance (he can’t help himself), but couldn’t ESPN have found someone, anyone closer to the actual sports arena to give the Arthur Ashe Award?
“I wish Caitlyn all the happiness in the world and all the peace of mind in the world. However, it strikes me that awarding the Arthur Ashe award to Caitlyn Jenner is just a crass exploitation play. It’s a tabloid play,” said Costas. “In the broad world of sports, I’m pretty sure they could have found — and this is not anything against Caitlyn Jenner — I’m pretty sure they could have found someone who was much closer to actively involved in sports, who would have been deserving of what that award represents. That’s not to say that it doesn’t take some measure of personal courage to do what Caitlyn Jenner has done, but I think that every year we look across the landscape of sports, and we find prominent people and kids in high school and amateur athletes who I think more closely fit the description of what they’re looking for or should be looking for there. And I think this is a play to pump up 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.”
“It felt a little too reality show, tabloid show, you know, all of a sudden let’s just jump in with Caitlyn Jenner,” Patrick said.
“It feels like, let’s buy in to the ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ culture that has overtaken a good part of the cultural landscape,” Costas said. “That’s a train that’s left the station and you and I can’t slow it down no matter how we feel about it.”
The actual exchange was toward the end of the interview on Monday, and can be heard here starting at about 7:35.