The 2015 ESPY Awards were held last night and produced many memorable moments. The three-hour award show included everything from a spoof of ESPN’s famous 30 for 30 documentary detailing the fall of host Joel McHale‘s career after an unfunny monologue to Devon Still‘s courageous speech honoring his daughter Leah‘s fight against cancer to Caitlin Jenner accepting the courage award for coming out as a transgender woman.
Here are the most memorable moments of the night.
The opening highlight sports package
This is always the highlight of the night and the past year had plenty of buzzworthy clips. Sports provides more drama than most movies and television shows, and this year’s reel included the U.S Women’s team triumph in the World Cup and Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose‘s stone faced pose after hitting the game winner in the NBA playoffs against the Cavs.
Joel McHale’s opening monologue
The host of the ESPYs has an usually hard job to do. They have to be funny, but not too controversial. Well, McHale didn’t follow those rules. He took shots at everyone from Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to football players who have trouble staying out of trouble in the offseason, like Jason Pierre-Paul‘s fireworks accident. His hardest shot however was saved for comedian, Bill Cosby. When referring to MMA champ Ronda Rousey, he said, “Over the last year, Rousey has knocked out more women than Bill Cosby.” Yikes.
Mo’ne Davis wins “Breakthrough Athlete of the Year”
Teen phenom pitcher Mo’ne Davis had a huge year for after leading her Philadelphia little league baseball team in the Little League World Series. Davis became a role model of sorts for girls everywhere after playing, thriving and being a leader on an all-boys baseball team. Her skill, poise and humility are a refreshing change from the “typical” star athlete in today’s sports world.
Danielle Green accepts the Pat Tillman Service Award
The former Notre Dame basketball player joined the military and lost the bottom half of her left arm in an grenade attack while serving in the Middle East. Green gave an inspiring speech and mentioned how she was touched by even the smallest gestures in her recovery, especially when her fellow soldiers returned the wedding rings from the arm and hand she lost in the explosion.
Basketball player Lauren Hill’s parents accepts the “Best Moment” award on her behalf
Mount St. Joseph basketball player Lauren Hill battled an aggressive inoperable brain tumor while on the team. Doctors only gave Hill a few months to live, and during her time left, she lived an inspiring, uplifting final months, with a “never quit” attitude all the way to the end of her life. Lauren’s mother gave a very heartfelt speech thanking everyone for their support and encouraged others to live the same way.
Robin Roberts highlights Stuart Scott and all of the sports figures we lost
Robin Roberts, whose own battle with cancer has been well-documented, honored her friend and beloved late sportscaster, Stuart Scott. Scott, who passed away in January from stomach cancer, fought hard all the way to the end. Other sports legends honored included former UNC coach Dean Smith, UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian and Portland Trailblazers star Jerome Kersey.
Devon Still accepts the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award on his daughter Leah’s behalf
No explanation needed. Devon’s speech outlines and explains it all.
Derek Jeter accepts the “Icon Award”
Actor and noted Boston Red Sox superfan Ben Affleck presented New York Yankee legend Derek Jeter (Numbah 2…if you’ve been to a Yankee game) with the ESPY Icon Award. Jeter was his usual humble and gracious self and looked as if he could still suit up and be effective for the Yanks.
Caitlyn Jenner accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award
Caitlyn Jenner made her first live television appearance at the ESPY awards last night to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. She immediately put the ESPY audience at ease by joking about how hard it was to get ready for the award show. Jenner, who recently sat down with Diane Sawyer to talk about her decision to transition from Bruce to Caitlyn Jenner. She thanked Sawyer (who was in attendance at the show) for getting her story right and giving her a huge platform to have her story shared and inspire others in the transgender community.
The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team wins “Best Team”
Coming off a dominate Women’s World Cup run, they beat out teams such as the NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots and NHL champs, the Chicago Blackhawks.
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