Cowardly ESPN Rewards Complaining Soccer Players Over Riley Gaines’ Actual Courage

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ESPN chose the easy and cowardly route at the ESPYs by rewarding the United States women’s national soccer team over Riley Gaines.

The USWNT was awarded the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage Wednesday night for fighting for more money. Members of the USWNT have spent years playing the victim card, and none have done it better than Megan Rapinoe.

We’re supposed to believe the women’s soccer team has been victimized because they don’t earn the same kind of cash the men’s World Cup pulls in. In reality, it’s simple economics. The men’s tournament earns more, thus even a smaller percentage of a payout is worth a lot more.

Yet, don’t let these little details get in the way. Members of the USWNT demanded attention and more money, and were rewarded with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Congratulations. Some true heroes.

Megan Rapinoe, who is a celebrity rolling around in cash with every opportunity imaginable, is no longer an oppressed victim. A great day for America.

ESPN silent in support of Gaines.

Yet, ESPN was incredibly silent on the fight for equality Riley Gaines, OutKick’s newest podcast host, has undertaken. Unlike the chronic complainers on the USWNT, Gaines is actually fighting real oppression, and couldn’t even snag an invite. The former Kentucky swimmer is fighting against men destroying women’s sports.

Gaines knows the fallout from firsthand experience. She was forced to compete against Lia Thomas – a biological male who dominated and destroyed women’s swimming.

Riley Gaines believes in protecting women’s sports. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Riley Gaines refused to be silent. Instead, she spoke up for women’s rights, fairness and equality. Her reward? Threats, violence and people treating her like an enemy of the state.

Most notably, Gaines was attacked while at San Francisco State University. She was there to protect women, and was met with a violent mob. The mob was so vicious it demanded money for her to be released.

Where I come from that’s called kidnapping. In San Francisco, it’s apparently totally fine.

Riley Gaines is what real courage looks like.

Gaines showed real courage and received nothing from ESPN. She doesn’t exist in ESPN’s eyes and wouldn’t ever be rewarded with a courage award.

The reason why is simple. She goes against the grain and speaks out against a narrative ESPN not only endorses, but pretends is okay. Let’s not forget this is the network that celebrated women’s history month with a special on Lia Thomas – a dude.

When Sage Steele was attacked for believing in protecting women, only Samantha Ponder came to her defense.

Riley Gaines can put her life on the line and ESPN ignores it. Megan Rapinoe complains and gets a courage award.

Let’s also not forget Rapinoe is okay with men now destroying women’s sports as she enters retirement. She couldn’t care less. How brave. How courageous.

ESPN ignores Riley Gaines’ courage. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The double standard is clear.

ESPN isn’t even trying to pretend anymore. If you push woke nonsense, you’re a hero. You stand up for real women, you’re a person who shouldn’t even be recognized.

If Megan Rapinoe had been held hostage by outraged MAGA supporters, it would be the lead story on ESPN for a month.

Riley Gaines is held against her will by an unhinged pro-transgender mob and the network is silent. It damn sure didn’t give her an award.

What’s more courageous: Facing violence and threats for protecting women or not understanding basic economics and complaining about it?

If you believe the latter, congrats, you’re ESPN’s main demo!

Riley Gaines has shown great courage standing up for women. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Fortunately, Riley Gaines doesn’t need ESPN’s support to be successful. She has a spine and is using her voice to protect women. That makes her courageous in our book any day of the week.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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