Aliyah Boston of the South Carolina women’s basketball team was initially not invited to the 2022 ESPYs. She eventually received a last-minute invitation, but she turned it down.
Boston, the reigning SEC Female Athlete of the Year and NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, released a lengthy post detailing why she turned down her invite to the ESPYs.
Also read: ESPY 2022 Awards: Check full list of winners
According to Boston, ESPN allegedly changed its mind after social media caught wind of Boston’s situation.
“To be nominated for an ESPY this year meant the world to me and my family,” Boston wrote. “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.”
“I’m used to this. It’s just another moment when the disrespect and erasure of Black women is brushed off as a ‘mistake’ or an ‘oversight.’ Another excuse for why our milestones and accomplishments aren’t a ‘priority’ this time, even now, 50 years after Title IX.”
“To every Black girl and every Black woman: no one can take away what God has in store for us. You matter. You are valuable. You are a priority. You are seen, and you are loved — don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
Boston was nominated for Best College Athlete in Women’s Sports.
That award went to Oklahoma softball star Jocelyn Alo.