Michael Sam and ESPN’s Stuart Scott Give Powerful Speeches at ESPY Awards

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(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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We’d like to apologize for making you cry this morning, but the 22nd ESPY Awards provided two heart touching speeches last night that you can not miss.

This first came from Michael Sam. On February 9, 2014, before the NFL Draft, Sam announced he was gay, becoming one of the first publicly gay college football players. Being the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, the potential for becoming the first active openly gay player in the NFL was very high. That became a reality when he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Sam was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage last night during the ESPY Awards, held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Sam, discussing the inspiration drawn from the award’s namesake, was brought to tears during his speech, as were many in the crowd, and he received a rightfully deserved standing ovation.


The second moving speech came from ESPN’s longtime broadcaster Stuart Scott, 2014’s recipient of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. Scott was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, seeing it go into remission and return on more than one occasion.

“I have to feel as much as I can like I don’t have cancer, although I think about cancer 20 times a day,” Scott says in a video package before taking the stage for his speech.

Despite a seven year battle, Scott continues to work regularly on SportCenter, works out regularly, travels, and spends as much time with his family as he can, refusing to let the battle get the best of him. He revealed during his speech that just a week prior to appearing on the ESPY stage, he was in the hospital for four surgeries over seven days to combat liver complications and kidney failures.


Even if you were able to keep composed during the first 14 minutes of that, there is no way you could have survived the daddy-daughter hug at the end.


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