Aliyah Boston said no to ESPN.
South Carolina women’s basketball star who won a national championship and was unanimously named National Player of the Year and Final Four Most Outstanding Player of 2022, has declined an invitation from the network to appear at the ESPY Awards, its annual summer showcase ceremony honoring top athletes. teams and moments from the sports year.
Boston declined the invitation that came after she was initially not included among the nominated performers who were invited to the ceremony scheduled for Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
Boston: “Another Moment” with “Disrespect”
She took up her decision in a statement released Wednesday morning.
“Being nominated for an ESPY this year meant the whole world to me and my family,” Boston wrote. “Although it hurt to find out that they did not send the category despite it being sent last year, and had no intentions of me participating. … it hurt more to see ESPN change course and invite me only after social media felt like Respectful I said no.
‘I’m used to this. It is just another moment when the lack of respect and erasure of black women is dismissed as a “mistake” or an “oversight”. Another excuse for why our milestones and achievements are not a “priority” this time, even now, 50 years after Title IX.
To every black girl and every black woman: no one can take away what God has in store for us. You mean something. You are valuable. You are a priority. You are seen, and you are LOVED – do not let anyone tell you anything other. “
Why was Boston not invited first?
Boston is nominated in the category of Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports along with Florida State football player Jaelin Howell, Oklahoma softball player Jocelyn Alo and Boston College lacrosse player Charlotte North. Alo was invited as a nominee in the categories Best Team and Best Record-Breaking Performance, but the other three nominees, including Boston, were initially not invited. Nor were they the nominees in the corresponding men’s sports category.
A source involved in the show told Yahoo Sports’ Cassandra Negley on Monday that Wednesday’s ceremony will be held under COVID-19 capacity restrictions and that only nominees who qualify for awards given during the primary broadcast will receive invitations. The winners of the college athlete for men and women were scheduled to be announced at a separate ceremony.
Wednesday’s ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theater with a listed capacity of 3400. It has hosted the Oscars since 2001. Last year’s ESPYs ceremony that sent the college athlete awards was held in New York at The Rooftop on Pier 17, which also has a capacity of 3400. It is not clear whether Wednesday’s ceremony at the Dolby Theater will limit attendance during the capacity.
Paige Bueckers was invited to the same award last year
UConn basketball player Paige Bueckers won Best College Athlete, the Women’s Sports Award last year, and talked about the lack of media coverage for black athletes and award winners.
“With the life I have now as a white woman leading a black-led sport and celebrating it here, I want to show a light on black women,” Bueckers said. “They do not get the media coverage they deserve.”
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley criticized ESPN on Twitter on Sunday for not inviting Boston.
Staley’s tweet sparked a social media campaign that joined her in criticizing the network, which apparently led to ESPN extending the invitation to Boston, which she eventually declined.