ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

COURAGE . . . Arthur Ashe and Caitlyn

Updated on July 20, 2015
Arthur Ashe
Arthur Ashe
Bruce Jenner, American Hero
Bruce Jenner, American Hero
1976 Olympics
1976 Olympics
Caitlin looking stylish
Caitlin looking stylish

Here’s just one definition of courage: . . .the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc.. . . .

There is no doubt Bruce Jenner overcame fear and difficulty when he decided to become Caitlyn. Something apparently he had been playing with for years, i.e., dressing in women’s clothing, confiding to family members, growing his hair and taking hormone shots.

For his courage, Jenner recently received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award which was accompanied by enormous quantities of slobbering approval from Hollywood, leftist and media moguls, the LGBT (,lesbian gay ,bisexual ,transgender) and left-leaning types in general. Not to mention all kind, loving, caring folks that want to see others doing their thing at any cost.

Who was Arthur Ashe you ask?

He was a man of courage. Real courage.

Born July 10, 1943, Arthur Ashe lived in a caretaker's cottage with his parents and one brother. A frail boy he began playing tennis at the age of seven and caught the attention of Coach Robert Walter Johnson. Johnson worked on Ashe's tennis skills but also taught him the importance of sportsmanship and etiquette.

Ashe's life was sparkling with achievement, determination, accomplishment and courage.

He graduated with a business degree and joined the Army on August 4, 1966. After basic training, he was assigned to the US Military Academy at West Point.

In l963, he became the first black player chosen for the US Davis Cup. He went on to win the US Amateur Championships and the first US Open, becoming the first black male to capture that title. On July 5 l975 Arthur Ashe won Wimbledon.

Ashe's life was one of ill health and during the last 14 years of his life he underwent surgeries on his foot, a quadruple bypass operation, a second bypass surgery and an emergency brain surgery. In l988, he was diagnosed with HIV that he contacted from a transfusion during his second heart surgery.

Ashe retired from tennis in l980, with a career record of 818 wins, 260 losses and 51 titles.

He remains the only black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, or Australian Open.

Despite his arduous tennis career and failing health, he was an activist for human rights and involved in protests and even got arrested two times. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and became national campaign chairman for the American Heart Association. He founded the National Junior Tennis League and served as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team. He was elected to the International Hall of Fame in l985.

Arthur Ashe died February 6, 1993, leaving his wife Jeanne and an adopted daughter. He was only 50 years old. On June 20, 1993, President Bill Clinton posthumously awarded Arthur Ashe the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Arthur Ashe left us with this quotation. "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."

Back to Bruce Jenner, who became our handsome, marvelous, spectacular American hero in l976 when he won the men's decathlon in the summer Olympics. After his decathlon victory Jenner experienced a few more successes as an athlete, but retired and began making personal appearances and doing motivational speaking. His face appeared on the Wheaties Box, and he had a few gigs in TV series and movies. But his wealth and fame faded and in the 1980s Jenner told a reporter. "I was drifting. I had worked really hard and didn't have much to show for it." In one interview he said, “"In 1990, you would have found me living in a one-bedroom Los Angeles bungalow, my sink piled high with dirty dishes and my living room decorated with a dried-out Christmas tree. . . .”

Jenner was married three times before becoming Caitlyn. He is the father to Kendall and Kylie from one marriage, father to Casey and Burt from another marriage, father to Brandon and Brody from another and stepfather to Robert Jr., Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian.

It was his third marriage to Kris Kardashian that skyrocketed Jenner into wealth with the reality show ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians.’ Now that they are divorcing, Caitlyn will walk away with a big chunk of the Kardashian fortune, 125 million.

Here are a few questions. Would it have been more honorable just to remain a dad and a husband? Just to stick it out for the sake of all ten children and three X wives? After all Bruce Jenner knew during three marriages that he wanted to be a girl, and admitted it to all three wives. Would true grit require that Jenner remain our American hero from l976? Does the pride and comfort of all those kids who looked up to him as a strong father figure for most of their lives even count? Jenner is 65 and has lived as a man, a father and husband for all those years. Is it possible that true courage would be to put the family first?

Or is it courageous to slap on a dress and some heels and look absolutely ridiculous? Yes, Caitlyn, you look dreadful. You are 6 feet 2 inches, have huge hands, muscular calves and fake boobs. No matter what garbage the media feeds the public those children of yours must certainly cringe. Oh, they put on the brave family face, but what kid wants a handsome American hero dad to turn into a big, clumsy, ugly woman? Burt Jenner was quoted as saying, “It’s very hard to have a father to idolize. It would have been much easier if he hadn’t won the Olympics.”

And what about the three wives? Kris Jenner said, "“Why would you want to be married and have kids if this is what you wanted since you were a little boy? Why would you not explain this all to me?”

Deserving of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award? Seems like there are dozens of examples of athletes who have soldiered on after sustaining devastating injuries and even loss of limbs. Where's their awards?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      This is well thought out and wonderfully written. You have eloquently expressed what I have been thinking. Thank you for taking the time to write this. Caitlyn didn't switch from being Bruce because of courage, but because of the financial ability to do so. What of those who so desperately want to change but don't have the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to do so. Are they showing a lack of courage? Voting up.

    • mslizzee profile image

      elizabeth 2 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

      The Kardashian much ado about nothing award could be given to just about all the news events of late. Thank you for the suggestion.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Maybe the Kardashian much ado about nothing award? The most politically correct thing in a politically correct world award?

      Until XY can be changed to XX in every cell there will be no real change.