Arthur Ashe Courage Award

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Arthur Ashe Courage Award
Awarded for individuals whose bravery "transcends sports"
Location Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles (2017)
Presented by ESPN
First awarded 1993
Currently held by Eunice Kennedy Shriver (USA)
Website Official website

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award (sometimes called the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage or Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award) is presented as part of the ESPY Awards. It is named for the American tennis player Arthur Ashe. Although it is a sport-oriented award, it is not limited to sports-related people or actions, as it is presented annually to individuals whose contributions "transcend sports".[1] According to ESPN, the organisation responsible for giving out the award, "recipients reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost".[2]

The inaugural award, made at the 1993 ESPY Awards, was presented to the American college basketball player, coach, and broadcaster Jim Valvano.[3][4] In 1993, ESPN partnered with Valvano to create the V Foundation which presents the annual Jimmy V Award to "a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination."[5][6] Suffering from cancer, Valvano gave an acceptance speech which "brought a howling, teary-eyed Madison Square Garden to its feet".[7] Valvano died two months after receiving the award.[7] Although the award is usually given to individuals, it has been presented to multiple recipients on six occasions: former athletes on United Airlines Flight 93 (2002), Pat and Kevin Tillman (2003), Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Jim MacLaren (2005), Roia Ahmad and Shamila Kohestani (2006), Trevor Ringland and David Cullen (2007), and Tommie Smith and John Carlos (2008). The accolade has been presented posthumously on five occasions.

The award has not been without controversy: in June 2015, ESPN's announcement of Caitlyn Jenner as the recipient of that year's Arthur Ashe Courage Award led to significant criticism among online commenters and some members of the media,[8] with Bob Costas calling the decision to give Jenner the award a "crass exploitation play".[9] Most of the critics of the Jenner award considered Lauren Hill, who played college basketball despite suffering from a brain tumor that would claim her life only a few months later, a more worthy recipient. Others cited Noah Galloway, an Iraq War double amputee who competes in extreme sports and was also a finalist in the spring 2015 season of Dancing with the Stars, as a worthy candidate.[8] The 2017 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award was Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics; the award was accepted by her son Tim.[10]

Recipients

Key
dagger Indicates posthumous award
Year Image Recipient(s) Notes Ref(s)
1993 Jim Valvano Valvano, JimJim Valvano American college basketball player, coach, and broadcaster, died from adenocarcinoma [4]
1994
Palermo, SteveSteve Palermo Major League Baseball umpire paralysed from the waist down after attempting to prevent a mugging [11]
1995 Howard Cosell in 1975 Cosell, HowardHoward Cosell Journalism, creator of ABC SportsBeat, the first serious investigative sports journalist program [12]
1996
Claiborne, LorettaLoretta Claiborne Multi-sports Special Olympics athlete [13]
1997 Muhammad Ali in 2006 Ali, MuhammadMuhammad Ali Boxer, an example of racial pride for African Americans and resistance to white domination during the civil rights movement. [4][14][15]
1998 Dean Smith in 2007 Smith, DeanDean Smith College basketball coach for 36 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [16]
1999 Billie Jean King in 2016 King, Billie JeanBillie Jean King Tennis player, campaigned for equal prize money in the men's and women's game [17]
2000
Sanders, William DavidWilliam David Sandersdagger High school sports coach killed defending students during the Columbine High School massacre [18][19]
2001 Cathy Freeman in 2008 Freeman, CathyCathy Freeman Athlete, first Australian Indigenous person to become a Commonwealth Games gold medallist [20]
2002 Flight 93 National Memorial Flight 93 Todd Beamerdagger
Mark Binghamdagger
Tom Burnettdagger
Jeremy Glickdagger
Athletes onboard United Airlines Flight 93 (National Memorial pictured) who tried to reclaim control from the hijackers [18]
2003 Pat Tillman in 2003 Tillman Pat Tillmandagger (pictured)
Kevin Tillman
Pat was an American footballer who was killed in action by friendly fire in Afghanistan. His brother Kevin was a Minor League Baseball player before enlisting, subsequently becoming an anti–Iraq War activist. [18]
2004 George Weah in 2016 Weah, GeorgeGeorge Weah Association footballer who became a UN Goodwill Ambassador [21]
2005
Yeboah, Emmanuel OfosuEmmanuel Ofosu Yeboah
Jim MacLaren
Yeboah brough attention to disabled people in Ghana, himself with a deformed leg, by cycling across the country. McLaren became a successful triathlete after having his leg amputated. [22]
2006
Ahmad, RoiaRoia Ahmad
Shamila Kohestani
Afghan women's association football team [23]
2007 David Cullen in 2008 Ringland, TrevorTrevor Ringland
David Cullen (pictured)
Members of Peace Players International which uses basketball to unite and educate children [24]
2008 Tommie Smith and John Carlos in 1968 Smith, TommieTommie Smith
John Carlos
Olympic track athletes, medalists at the 1968 Summer Olympics, with Black Power salute on the podium [25]
2009 Nelson Mandela in 2008 Mandela, NelsonNelson Mandela South African President [26]
2010
Thomas, EdEd Thomas dagger High school American football coach, shot and killed by a former student [18]
2011
Bozella, DeweyDewey Bozella Boxer, wrongly imprisoned for 26 years [27]
2012 Pat Summit in 2008 Summitt, PatPat Summitt College basketball coach with the most wins in NCAA basketball history, retired with early-onset Alzheimer's disease [28]
2013 Robin Roberts in 2010 Roberts, RobinRobin Roberts Broadcaster, increased awareness in bone marrow donation through public coverage of her own illness [29]
2014 Michael Sam in 2008 Sam, MichaelMichael Sam American football player, first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL [4]
2015 Caitlyn Jenner in 2015 Jenner, CaitlynCaitlyn Jenner Former Olympic track and field athlete and transgender television personality [30]
2016
Dobson, ZaevionZaevion Dobson dagger American football player who used his body to shield two women from a drive-by shooting [18]
2017 Eunice Kennedy Shriver Shriver, Eunice KennedyEunice Kennedy Shriver dagger Founder of the Special Olympics [4]

References

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  2. ^ "About the award – Arthur Ashe Award". ESPN. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  3. ^ Smith, Gary (January 11, 1993). "As time runs out". Sports Illustrated. (cover story): 10. Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Czachor, Emily Mae (July 13, 2017). "Celebrating 25 years, the ESPYs have become more than a sports awards show". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved November 5, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Eric LeGrand receives Jimmy V Award". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  6. ^ "V Foundation". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 18, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Czachor, Emily Mae. "Celebrating 25 years, the ESPYs have become more than a sports awards show". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Falzone, Diane (June 3, 2015). "Anger over Caitlyn Jenner being chosen over Lauren Hill for ESPY courage award". Fox News. Archived from the original on June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Bob Costas slams ESPN over Caitlyn Jenner ESPY courage award". Fox News. June 10, 2015. Archived from the original on June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Eunice Kennedy Shriver". Special Olympics. Archived from the original on June 12, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  11. ^ Snyder, Matt (May 14, 2017). "Former MLB umpire Steve Palermo dies at age 67". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on May 15, 2017. Retrieved November 5, 2017. 
  12. ^ Sandomir, Richard (February 17, 1995). "Sports of The Times; A Celebration Of Virtuosity That Is Cosell". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 26, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2017. 
  13. ^ Cavenagh, Lauren K. (December 15, 2016). Joseph Winnick, ed. Adapted Physical Education and Sport. p. 153. ISBN 1-4925-1153-6. Retrieved November 5, 2017. 
  14. ^ Hauser, Thomas. "The Importance of Muhammad Ali". Gilder Lehrman Institute. Archived from the original on June 8, 2016. 
  15. ^ "The religion and politics of Muhammad Ali". Hollowverse. MK Safi. Archived from the original on May 17, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  16. ^ Chadwick, David (June 1, 2015). It's How You Play the Game: The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith. Harvest House Publishers. p. 256. ISBN 0-7369-6689-7. Retrieved November 5, 2017. 
  17. ^ Lamphier, Peg A.; Welch, Rosanne (January 23, 2017). Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection. ABC-CLIO. p. 161. ISBN 1-61069-602-6. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c d e Payne, Marissa (June 6, 2017). "ESPYs to honor Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver with posthumous courage award". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  19. ^ Miller, Jeff (April 19, 2009). "Coach remembered on anniversary of Columbine tragedy". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Catherine Freeman". Athletics Australia. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Weah to receive award in US". BBC Sport. June 14, 2004. Archived from the original on June 16, 2004. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  22. ^ Dylan, Jesse (March 30, 2009). The Good Life with Jesse Dylan: Redefining Your Health with the Greatest Visionaries of Our Time. John Wiley & Sons. p. 52. ISBN 0-470-15694-5. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Afghan soccer players to be honored". ESPN. June 12, 2006. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  24. ^ "ESPY winners unite kids divided by Belfast conflict". ESPN. July 4, 2007. Archived from the original on July 1, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  25. ^ Rhoden, William C. (August 25, 2008). "Contributing to the Struggle With Grace and Dignity". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Mandela named Ashe Award recipient". ESPN. June 15, 2009. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  27. ^ Onwuazor, Chudi (October 21, 2011). "Dewey Bozella's one and only shows Bernard Hopkins the way to go". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  28. ^ Quinn, Sam R. (July 12, 2012). "Pat Summitt: Arthur Ashe Courage Award Is Great Honor for Legendary Coach". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  29. ^ Scott, Nate (July 17, 2013). "Robin Roberts wins Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 24, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  30. ^ Lutz, Tom (July 15, 2015). "Caitlyn Jenner accepts courage award: 'If you want to call me names, I can take it'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on August 24, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
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