The most emotional moment of Wednesday night’s ESPYS was when
the Arthur Ashe Courage Award was presented to Zaevion Dobson, a 15-year-old Tennessee high school football player who was killed by random gunfire while trying to protect two young women.
Stephen Curry introduced the award by giving some scary stats:
“In an average year in America, more than 33,000 people die after getting shot by a gun. That’s about 2,700 people very month, 600 people every week and 91 people every day…
It’s about a 15-year-old kid, an athlete and a role model, who had nothing to do with the bullet that took his life. He and his friends didn’t know the people who killed him or anything about the feud that led to their gunfire. But in a split second, because of his incredible courage, he became part of one of the saddest statistics in America, so now we let him tell us his story.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 14, 2016
A video was then shown about Dobson’s life:
Dobson’s mother and brothers were on-hand to accept the award on behalf of Zaevion.
In her speech, Zenobia Dobson advocated for gun control, saying:
“I’m here to fight back. We as a country need to take a stand to consider the effects of gun violence on families throughout America. All the athletes in this room — you have a lot of power. People look up to you. I know Zaevion did, and I urge you to think tonight about why he died and what you can do tomorrow to prevent the next innocent young man or woman from being lost as well.”
WATCH: “We need… to consider the effects of gun violence on families in America.” – mother of Zaevion Dobson https://t.co/WtqaULvwRw
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 14, 2016
The speech was met to wild applause from the audience.
Other athletes like Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James also used their podium at the show to speak out against gun violence and police brutality.
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