The Olympic athlete turned transgender woman made her red carpet debut at the show, where she was set to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, named for the famous tennis player who later became a voice for athletes with AIDS.
ESPN's choice to honor Jenner with the award was already a controversial one, and many critics slammed the network, calling the move a publicity stunt. Reps from ESPN, however, denied it, including ESPY coproducer Maura Mandt, who explained the choice by saying, "I think Caitlyn's decision to publicly come out as a transgender woman and live as Caitlyn Jenner displayed enormous courage and self-acceptance. [This] is what the Arthur Ashe Courage Award is about, somebody from the athletic community who has done something that transcends sport."
Still, many sports fans disagreed — and took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.
When "Caitlyn" Jenner goes on I'm turning the TV off. #ESPYS— Dylan Purdy (@_DSP5) July 16, 2015
there's so many ignorant high school burn outs complaining about Caitlyn Jenner at the ESPYS.— samantha (@raeesamanthaa) July 16, 2015
Caitlyn has yet to address the hate on her own Twitter, which has been silent since Tuesday.
Supporters were few and far between, but they were out there. And we do know for sure, at least, the most innocent among us are able to see Caitlyn for who she truly is.
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