- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hollywood director Peter Berg used a military-themed meme to blast ESPN’s decision to give Caitlyn Jenner its Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

Mr. Berg, who directed “Lone Survivor,” shared an image of a double amputee next to the Olympic athlete formerly known as Bruce Jenner.

“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?” the Hollywood director posted on his Instagram account on Wednesday.

The veteran whose image appears in the meme is Army Col. Gregory D. Gadson, who lost both his legs in a roadside bomb attack during Operation Iraq Freedom, The Daily Beast reported.

During her ESPYs acceptance speech Wednesday night, Ms. Jenner spoke of her male-to-female transition.

“I know people in this room have respect for hard work, for training, for going through something difficult to achieve, something you desire,” she said. “I trained hard. I competed hard. And for that people respected me. But this transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine. And that’s the case for so many others besides me. For that reason alone, trans people deserve something vital: They deserve your respect.”

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Mr. Berg’s Instagram post immediately drew a strong reaction, both positive and negative.

“Big fan. The thought police are coming for you now,” one person wrote.

“Well there goes any chance I had at appreciating your work. Such narrowmindness [sic]. You should be ashamed of yourself,” wrote another.

Mr. Berg, creator of the popular NBC series “Friday Night Lights,” is currently the executive producer of the HBO series “Ballers,” which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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