Every year the ESPYs honor a sports figure 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,” with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
While previous winners include men like Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela, you may have never heard the name of the young man who will be honored at the 2016 ESPYs. This year, that award will go to 15-year-old Zaevion Dobson, who sacrificed his life for three young girls late last year when gun shots rang out in Knoxville, Tennessee. If Dobson had run away from the gunfire instead of jumping on top of the girls, they may not be here today.
We want you to know that Zaevion was an outstanding young man who will always be remembered as a hero. pic.twitter.com/h7qlV1D9zO
— Fulton Football (@FultonFootball) December 18, 2015
In a press release, Executive producer of the ESPYs, Maura Mandy, stated, “Zaevion’s actions to risk his own life for others demonstrate the true meaning of the word courage, and his boundless bravery has inspired many. By celebrating Zaevion’s legacy, we hope to bring more attention to this serious issue and continue focus on the tragic loss of lives to gun violence.”
Zenobia Dobson, Zaevion’s mother, will accept the award on his behalf.
“With this award, we know that Zaevion’s name and example will never be forgotten,” his mother said in a press release.
“Arthur Ashe was a leading example of strength and courage for us as a family, and we feel truly blessed and honored that our Zaevion joins the ranks of honorees.”
(h/t Huffington Post)