The ESPY awards are set for Wednesday night, and there are many awards to give out to honor the remarkable professional athletes and their hard work. However, some of the female athletes nominated for awards were not invited to attend the event.
According to ESPN, “both COVID restrictions and a new venue with much less seating capacity” made the media giant “prioritize athlete invitations to focus on specific awards that will be handed out during the broadcast.”
If you ask South Carolina center Aliyah Boston, this goes beyond restrictions and seating arrangements. She was nominated for “Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports.” However, she was invited to the event only after ESPN faced backlash from Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley and others through social media.
Boston took to Twitter before the award show on Wednesday and congratulated Oklahoma softball’s Jocelyn Alo. She won the ESPY for “Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports.” Boston then voiced her opinion on being left out of the award show.
“To be nominated for an ESPY this year meant the world to me and my family. While it hurt finding out that they wouldn’t be televising the category despite it being televised last year, and had no intentions for me to attend… it hurt more to see ESPN change course and invite me only after social media caught wind of it. Respectfully, I declined,” Boston wrote.
While upset, Boston admitted that she is “used to this.” She said that this is just another time where “the disrespect and erasure of Black women is brushed off as a “mistake” or an “oversight.” She went on to reassure black girls and women that they and their accomplishments matter. “You are seen, and you are LOVED — don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
I thank God for continuing to bless me, for guiding my steps, and for the love and support of my family, fans and community. I would like to say congratulations @78jocelyn_alo and all the ESPY winners🎉 I remain thankful in all things. pic.twitter.com/BkO2iPA8YS
— Aliyah A. Boston (@aa_boston) July 20, 2022
Caprice Dydasco, star NY/NJ Gotham FC defender, was also not originally invited to the event, despite being nominated for the “Best NWSL Player” award.