South Carolina Women’s Basketball Coach Calls Out ESPN For Not Inviting Nominee To ESPYs, Implies Racism And Sexism

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Font Size:

University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball coach Dawn Staley called out ESPN for not inviting Aliyah Boston to the ESPYs. 

Boston helped lead the South Carolina Gamecocks to a national championship over the University Connecticut this past season and was named Player of the Year. Her most recent honor was a nomination for “Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports” at the 2022 ESPYs. 

Despite her nomination, Boston did not receive an invitation the ceremony in Las Angeles on Wednesday. (RELATED: South Carolina’s Basketball Team Stays In The Locker Room During The National Anthem Prior To Final Four Game)

Staley spoke out on Twitter, upset that her star player had not been invited to the event. She called out ESPN, writing, “who in the room from [ESPN and the ESPYs] decided it was a great idea not to invite [Boston].”

“There’s definitely something wrong with the make up of the room,” Staley added.

The 6-foot-5-inch college star did not get an invitation for the ESPYs due to COVID-19 restrictions and a new venue for the event with a smaller capacity, ESPN Senior Director of Communications Jay Jay Nesheim said, according to the Washington Post

Despite  having “the utmost respect” for Boston, Staley and the Gamecocks, ESPY organizers “prioritized athlete invitations to focus on specific awards that will be handed out during the broadcast.” The award for “Best College Athlete” for women’s sports is given out during the ESPY’s Preview Show before the main broadcast, the Washington Post reported. 

Boston’s representative at Klutch Sports, Jade-Li English, also went to Twitter to call out the ESPYs for leaving the nominee off the invitation list. English accused ESPN of “performative allyship” for planning to bring attention to Title IX during the ceremony while not inviting a female nominee. 

South Carolina women’s basketball spokesperson Diana Koval said that as of Monday, Boston still has not been invited to the ceremony, according to the Associated Press.