To quote probably one of the greatest coaches in history, Vince Lombardi “What the Hell is going on out there?!” That was the first thing that came to mind yesterday when I read that Caitlyn Jenner will pose nude (ish) on the cover of an upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated wrapped in an American flag, and donning the Olympic gold medal for the 1976 Decathlon that Bruce Jenner won.
Jenner who now identifies as a “woman” is planned to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated (SI) 40 years after Jenner born as a man won the gold in Montreal, and became a national hero. Put the politics aside, what is the real purpose for this stunt? To celebrate Jenner’s achievement from 40 years ago, or for publicity? I assure you it is the latter, and not so much the former. SI for some reason is looking for a sales spike, and Jenner, for attention. The wrong kind of attention.What does putting Jenner on the cover of SI do for transgender awareness or for individuals who struggle with their identity? Absolutely nothing. It’s a “Shock Jock” move, something that radio disc jockeys would (still) do to gain attention, listeners, and improve ratings (think Howard Stern).
Jenner has won nothing athletically since the transformation. If a transgender athlete won something sports related and SI wanted to put them on the cover that would be fine, since it was an actual accomplishment by that individual. An individual that others struggling with their own identity could relate to, not some AARP eligible, XY chromosome carrying person looking for attention.
If Jenner wants to have a “look at me” moment, why not continue to talk with people who are challenged with how they identify, go on tour and speak to the masses … stay under and out of the the “Kardashian/TMZ” social media type of radar, and help. Mother Theresa who helped the poor by living the way that they did, was also recognized on covers of magazines and by the media….the only difference was the media went to her, she didn’t go to them.
Mark my words Jenner will probably appear in ESPN The Magazine “Body” Issue, then SI will counter with Jenner in their annual Swim Suit Issue, probably in body paint.
(photos courtesy of: myhero, stamfordadvocate, ethicsalarm)