American director denounces Caitlyn Jenner's ESPY win with transphobic meme

LOS ANGELES. KAZINFORM - In her first appearance since coming out as a woman on the cover of Vanity Fair, Caitlyn Jenner gave a rousing speech on Wednesday, accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY awards. Shortly after Jenner's speech aired on ABC's telecast of the ceremony, director Peter Berg (Hancock, Lone Survivor) - who is also behind NBC's beloved sports series Friday Night Lights - voiced his opinion of ESPY's choice to award Jenner on Instagram, by sharing a transphobic meme first posted on Facebook by Main Stream Media Sponsor Boycotts on 3 June.

Beneath side-by-side photos of Jenner and US army veteran Gregory D Gadson, the meme reads: "One man traded 2 legs for the freedom of the other to trade 2 balls for 2 boobs. Guess which man made the cover of Vanity Fair, was praised for his courage by President Obama and is to be honored with the ‘Arthur Ashe Courage Award' by ESPN?".

Gadson, a motivational speaker and actor who appeared in Berg's 2012's blockbuster Battleship, served 15 years in the US army. During a deployment to Operation Iraq Freedom, Gadson lost both his legs to a roadside bomb. His sports background includes playing for the army's football team from 1985-89, serving as co-captain, Kazinform quotes the Guardian.

Berg isn't the only American public figure to publicly criticise the decision to give Jenner the award. Veteran sports broadcaster Bob Costas spoke out earlier, sayingon the Dan Patrick Show: "It strikes me that awarding the Arthur Ashe award to Caitlyn Jenner is just a crass exploitation play - it's a tabloid play."

Berg's last film was the 2013 war film Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg. He is currently filming the oil spill drama Deepwater Horizon, also with the Ted 2 star.

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