ESPYs honor Larry Nassar survivors, coaches killed in Parkland shooting

Angelo Anderson
July 19, 2018

"If we choose to listen and we choose to act with empathy, we can draw strength from each other", USA gymnast Aly Raisman said. It's OK, don't worry.

"We persisted and finally someone listened and believed us", she said.

Klein said in her acceptance speech that the sporting associations where Nassar worked put more importance in money and medals than the safety of the child athletes.

"Speaking up and speaking out is not easy".

"I think that's such an empowering feeling - knowing you're not alone". "We're sacrificing privacy, we're being judged and scrutinized, and it's grueling and it's painful, but it is time".

After the jokes, the touching athlete speeches and highlights from incredible sports moments, the 2018 ESPYS on Wednesday night ended on a serious topic, which needed to be addressed as the sports world looked back on everything that's happened in the past year.

The Ashe award, named after the Grand Slam tennis champion and human rights advocate, goes to those with "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". Last year, the founder of the Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, won the iconic award. After several days of horrific testimony on abuse that spanned over two decades, Nassar was sentenced 40 to 175 years in MI, a life sentence for the countless abuses he committed.

The assaults occurred under the façade of providing medical treatment. Several of the athletes who read impact statements during Nassar's hearings were present at the ESPYs to receive the award.

After a standing ovation for the survivors onstage, the ESPYS audience remained on their feet as three women, surrounded by their "sister survivors", spoke about their experiences: Raisman, softball player Tiffany Thomas and Sarah Klein, who identified herself as Nassar's first victim. Almost 200 of them gave often emotional testimonies during sentencing hearings earlier this year. Her words instantly became a rallying cry.

Raisman added, "For too long we were ignored. We are here and we are not going anywhere".

This year's ESPY Awards weren't just about celebrating sporting heroes; but standing up to decades of abuse. "By honoring this group who spoke out, we aim to honor all of those who are survivors of abuse".

The award, ESPYS executive producer Marua Mandt said, is simply ideal fit for the survivors.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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