Bob Costas

Bob Costas

*Bob Costas is the latest to publicly weigh in on ESPN’s decision to award Caitlyn Jenner the 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award next month, calling it a gimmick and slamming the reality star for not “deserving” an honor of that caliber.

“It strikes me that awarding the Arthur Ashe Award to Caitlyn Jenner is just a crass exploitation play — it’s a tabloid play,” Costas said in an interview on the Dan Patrick Show. “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.”

Later, he added: “That’s not to say it doesn’t take some measure of personal courage to do what Caitlyn Jenner has done.”

Costas said he believes Jenner’s honor was merely a stunt to boost ratings.

“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.”

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