I did not watch the Espys, which took place July 15 on ESPN.

Nothing against the awards show, which has grown dramatically over the years, but it has little appeal to me and I don't plan to watch the program in the future.

Nonetheless, many athletes I follow made their views on Twitter regarding ESPN's version of the Oscars or the Grammys.

As you probably noticed, the biggest controversy was the Arthur Ashe Courage Award that went to the person formerly known as Bruce Jenner.

The former Gold medalist, who now goes by Caitlyn, accepted the award and gave a moving speech regarding the transgender community.

I'm not going to bash Jenner. She is free to live her life the way she chooses, and I applaud her for being strong enough to reveal what she believes is her true identity.

And I won't deny the fact that her decision to wear dresses and high heels in public takes some guts. But my view on Jenner's award may seem a bit blunt -- what a travesty!

There are several courageous athletes who have had to deal with far more adversity than the former 1976 Olympics' decathlon winner.

Lauren Hill kept her dream of playing basketball alive despite suffering from terminal brain cancer. By the way, the Mount St. Joseph University (Cincinnati) student died earlier this year at age 19.

Despite her death, Hill's The Cure Starts Now Foundation has become a juggernaut in recent months. It has raised more than $1.1 million, thanks to the teenager's tireless work and perseverance.

KANSAS CITY Chiefs safety Eric Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma last December. He learned of this after complaining of chest pains during a game just three weeks earlier.

And then there's former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, who finally may be healthy after a two-year fight with squamous cell carcinoma.

For good measure, Kelly recently conquered his short battle with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterial infection otherwise known as MRSA.

These three athletes have literally dealt with life and death.

Despite a courageous fight, Hill couldn't overcome impossible odds. Berry, on the other hand, has a chance to make a full recovery, and Kelly, who flirted with death ever since he was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, may have a chance to do the same.

As I said earlier, Jenner showed much courage to reveal her true identity after keeping it locked away for so many years. She has inspired a number of people and at the same time, has been ridiculed mercilessly for her drastic makeover.

However, and pardon me if I sound inconsiderate, Jenner's decision to become a woman holds little water to the struggles that Hill, Berry and Kelly have endured.

My choice would have been Hill, who played in four games and scored five layups for St. Joseph. Her cheerful, upbeat personality despite suffering excruciating pain was just about superhuman.

In fact, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the late selfless former basketball standout flashed a wide grin when the Arthur Ashe Award winner was revealed.

SOMEDAY, maybe I will, too. But as you noticed, I can think of at least three more deserving local candidates than the former "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star.

I'm sure they weren't on ESPN's list when the candidates were chosen for this prestigious award. Nonetheless, their courage against insurmountable odds can't be ignored.

If I was to hand out my own award for courage, I'd give a trophy to Dave Caplin, Tom Jones and Tonya Slone.

Caplin, the former Hudson head boys track and field and cross country coach, passed away last fall after a brutal 13-year battle with Liposarcoma.

Caplin decided to call it a career right before the 2014 cross country season.

Jones, the former longtime Cuyahoga Falls head girls basketball coach, battled cancer for more than 20 years before he passed away last month.

Like Caplin, Jones didn't stop coaching until he had no choice. He continued to coach the freshman boys basketball team in recent years despite his deteriorating condition.

Slone, the wife of former Cuyahoga Falls head boys basketball coach Rob Slone, recently was diagnosed with stage 3 adenocarcinoma of the lung. She missed the Stow-Falls' game for the first time in eons, but I don't recall her missing any other Black Tiger contests.

Caitlyn Jenner was the recipient of ESPN's 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

But I just want to say thank you to Lauren Hill, Eric Berry and Jim Kelly, along with my local good friends, Dave Caplin, Tom Jones and Tonya Slone.

Espy or no Espy, they are some of the most courageous people I've ever laid eyes on.

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