Sports

5 Best Speeches in ESPYS History

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NFL player Michael Sam accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award onstage during the 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

NFL player Michael Sam accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award onstage during the 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Stuart Scott — the colorful and beloved ESPN personality — delivered a moving, touching and motivating speech after accepting the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards.

Scott was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago and he detailed his battle in his emotional speech.

Although the ESPYS has its fair share of critics, the sports awards show has provided some memorable speeches over its 20-plus years.

Tip: You might want to have a box of tissues nearby when watching these speeches.

5) Robin Roberts — Arthur Ashe Award for Courage — 2013

Roberts, the ESPN and ABC broadcaster, received a standing ovation as she accepted her award that recognized her for overcoming battles with breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Roberts left the audience with some wise words from her mom: “Momma used to say, ‘Make your mess your message.’ Find the meaning behind whatever it is you’re going through because everybody’s got something.”

4) Michael Sam — Arthur Ashe Award for Courage — 2014

Sam, the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, became the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL when the St. Louis Rams selected him in the seventh round of this year’s draft. He ends his speech with a touching story about a young person who decided not to take her own life because of the example Sam set.

3) Eric LeGrand — Jimmy V Award for Perseverance — 2012

LeGrand became paralyzed from the neck down after making a tackle during a Rutgers football game in 2010, but he turned a sad story into an inspirational one. After being told by doctors that he would be a permanent quadriplegic, LeGrand has vowed to walk again and continues to work toward that goal.

2) Stuart Scott — Jimmy V Award for Perseverance — 2014

Scott is known for his popular catch phrases, but he delivered a different kind of cool during his emotional speech about his seven-year battle with cancer. He ended his speech by calling his daughter onto stage to “give Dad a hug, because I need one.”

1) Jim Valvano — Arthur Ashe Award for Courage — 1993

Just months before his death, Jimmy V took the stage after almost being too sick to travel to the awards show. He delivered one of the most memorable speeches of all time, and let us with the best advice ever: “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”

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