What Is The Arthur Ashe Courage Award?

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The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is the annual award given at ESPN’s ESPY Awards to an individual whose actions transcend sports.
The 2016 Arthur Ashe Courage award is being awarded posthumously to Zaevion Dobson, a 15-year-old Knoxville, Tennessee football player who died after diving in front of gunfire to save two girls’ lives. The award is being accepted on his behalf by his mother, Zenobia Johnson.



The award is named after Arthur Ashe, a black tennis player who broke barriers in tennis in the 1960’s and 70’s. He was the first and so far only black men’s tennis player to be ranked number 1 in the world . In 1992 he announced that he had HIV and AIDS and worked to educate others about HIV and AIDS and founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. He died in 1993 of AIDS-related Pneumonia in February 1993, and was soon after awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award was initially given at the first edition of the ESPYs in 1993 to Jim Valvano, who while dying of cancer gave a moving speech in which he memorably said, “If you laugh, you think and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day,” and “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” (see below)  Other notable past winners include Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Pat Tillman, Pat Summitt, Michael Sam and most recently Caitlyn Jenner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E


Here is the full list of recipients of the Arthur Ashe Award:
1993: Jim Valvano
1994: Steve Palermo
1995: Howard Cosell
1996: Loretta Claiborne
1997: Muhammad Ali
1998: Dean Smith
1999: Billie Jean King
2000: William David Sanders*
2001: Cathy Freeman
2002: Todd Beamer*, Mark Bingham*. Tom Burnett*, and Jeremy Glick*
2003: Pat Tillman* and Kevin Tillman
2004: George Weah
2005: Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Jim MacLaren
2006: Roia Ahmad and Shamila Kohestani
2007: Trevor Ringland and David Cullen from Peace Players International
2008: Tommie Smith and John Carlos
2009: Nelson Mandela
2010: Family of Ed Thomas
2011: Dewey Bozella
2012: Pat Summitt
2013: Robin Roberts
2014: Michael Sam
2015: Caitlyn Jenner
2016: Zaevion Dobson*
*given posthumously


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