Abuse Survivors Awarded Arthur Ashe Courage Award at 2018 ESPYS

Lawrence Kim
July 19, 2018

"Whether you act or do nothing, you are shaping the world that we live in". Be careful. There are risks involved.' The intention?

"It is gruelling and it is painful, but it is time". "And as a survivor, I'm here to say that if we just give one person the courage to use their voice, this is worth it". "Tonight, we stand here, and it feels like we're finally winning".

Klein added that the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and MSU "all placed money and medals above the safety of child athletes". For more than two decades, ESPN has presented the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage to a public figure, often in the sports world, who demonstrated "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".

Past recipients of the award, named after tennis legend Arthur Ashe, include Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Nelson Mandela, Pat Summit, Robin Roberts and Caitlyn Jenner.

Members of the group held hands, exchanged hugs and smiled proudly as they filled the stage to accept the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ceremony in Los Angeles. "It's a story about what can happen in sports when something goes terribly wrong, when the dream of being an athlete turns into a nightmare", Garner expressed.

Jennifer Garner front embraces gymnast Aly Raisman after presenting the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPY Awards at Microsoft Theater on Wednesday
Larry Nassar Survivors Join Hands on Stage at 2018 ESPYs for Courage Award

Before the Lansing, Mich., courtroom, they spoke of abuse under the guise of medical treatment, which for some began when they were elementary school age. He was sentenced up to 175 years on MI state charges of sexual assault, to go along with a sentence of 40 to 125 years in prison on three counts of sexual assault with another 60-year sentence on federal child-pornography charges.

Almost 200 survivors gave often emotional testimonies during sentencing hearings in MI earlier this year.

Raisman's speech detailed all the years the girls spoke out about Nassar but were told to trust him. In it, she thanked the people who helped bring Nassar to justice; faulted those who failed to act on claims of abuse that were made over an 18-year period from 1999 to 2016; and offered support to other victims.

"They have shown us all what it truly means to speak truth to power, and through their bravery, they are making change for future generations", Overholt said. I hope that the abuse will end with us.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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