Aaliyah Boston of South Carolina turned down invitation at the last minute to ESPY after scandal

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South Carolina Basketball star Alia Boston turned down a last-minute invitation from ESPN to attend Wednesday’s awards show after initially not making the network’s guest list for ESPY.

Boston expressed resentment, suggesting ESPN just changed their mind by invitation after concerns about her invitation went viral on social media.

Boston was nominated for the Women’s Sports College Athlete of the Year, but the award went to Oklahoma softball star Jocelyn Alo.

Aaliyah Boston of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts during the National Championship Trophy presentation after defeating the Connecticut Huskies 64-49 in the 2022 NCAA Women's Basketball National Championship game at the Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis.

Aaliyah Boston of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts during the National Championship Trophy presentation after defeating the Connecticut Huskies 64-49 in the 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship game at the Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis.
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

“Being nominated for an ESPY award this year meant the world to me and my family,” Boston wrote. “While it hurt to know they weren’t airing this category despite it being televised last year and didn’t intend for me to attend… it hurt more to see ESPN change course and invite me only after how social networks got wind of it. Sincerely, I declined.

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ESPN reported that due to COVID restrictions and “a new venue with a much lower capacity than previous shows, ESPY 2022 has been prioritizing athlete invitations to focus on specific awards to be presented during broadcast.”

But Boston said it was just a pretext.

Aaliyah Boston of the South Carolina Gamecocks cuts off a piece of the net after defeating the Connecticut Huskies 64-49 in the 2022 NCAA Women's National Basketball Championship game at the Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis.

Aaliyah Boston of the South Carolina Gamecocks cuts off a piece of the net after defeating the Connecticut Huskies 64-49 in the 2022 NCAA Women’s National Basketball Championship game at the Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis.
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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“I’m used to it. This is just another moment where the disrespect and erasure of black women is brushed aside as a “mistake” or “gaffe”. Another justification for why our milestones and achievements are not a “priority” this time, even now, 50 years after Title IX,“she added.

“To every black girl and every black woman: no one can take away what God has prepared for us. You matter. You are valuable. You are the priority. otherwise. “

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Aliya Boston of South Carolina smiles after defeating Connecticut in the national championship game on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis.

Aliya Boston of South Carolina smiles after defeating Connecticut in the national championship game on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis.
(AP Photo / Eric Gay, file)

South Carolina women’s basketball coach Don Staley expressed anger at the lack of an invitation for her star player.

Boston helped the Gamecocks to the championship in 2022 and won the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Naismith College Player of the Year, the John R. Wooden Award, the Wade Trophy, the AP Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year, and Naismith’s Defensive Player of the Year award. .

The Associated Press contributed to this report.