Arthur Ashe Courage Award

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award (sometimes called the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage or Arthur Ashe for Courage Award) is an award that is part of the ESPY awards. Although it is a sport-oriented award, it is not limited to sports-related people or actions, as it is presented annually to individuals whose contributions "transcend sports". Often these figures are also athletes who have been at the top of their sport, such as Muhammad Ali, Dean Smith, and Cathy Freeman.

List of recipients

Year Recipient(s) Notes
1993 Jim Valvano College basketball
1994 Steve Palermo Baseball
1995 Howard Cosell Journalism
1996 Loretta Claiborne Special Olympics
1997 Muhammad Ali Boxing
1998 Dean Smith College basketball
1999 Billie Jean King Tennis
2000 William David Sandersdagger Columbine High School massacre
2001 Cathy Freeman Runner
2002 Todd Beamerdagger, Mark Binghamdagger, Tom Burnettdagger, and Jeremy Glickdagger[1] Flight 93
2003 Pat Tillmandagger and Kevin Tillman[2] American football / baseball
2004 George Weah[3][4] Association football
2005 Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Jim MacLaren Athletics
2006 Roia Ahmad and Shamila Kohestani Women's association football
2007 Trevor Ringland and David Cullen from Peace Players International
2008 Tommie Smith and John Carlos
2009 Nelson Mandela
2010 Ed Thomasdagger
2011 Dewey Bozella
2012 Pat Summitt
2013 Robin Roberts
2014 Michael Sam
2015 Caitlyn Jenner
2016 Zaevion Dobsondagger


In June 2015, ESPN's announcement of Caitlyn Jenner as the recipient of that year's Arthur Ashe Courage Award led to significant criticism among online commenters[5] and some members of the media, with Bob Costas calling the decision to give Jenner the award a "crass exploitation play".[6] Most of the critics of the Jenner award considered Lauren Hill, who played college basketball despite suffering from a brain tumor that would claim her life only a few months later, a more worthy recipient. Others cited Noah Galloway, an Iraq War double amputee who competes in extreme sports and was also a finalist in the spring 2015 season of Dancing with the Stars, as a worthy candidate.[5]

In July 2015, conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro and transgender rights activist Zoey Tur were on Dr. Drew On Call to discuss Caitlyn Jenner's receipt of the Award.[7][8] Shapiro publicly announced that "self identification is what you do" as justification for why Jenner was undeserving of the award.


External links

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