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The 2016 ESPYS - Backstage And Audience

The 2016 ESPYS was a chance for the best athletes, both collegiate and professional, to celebrate the year’s most-notable achievements.

Everyone from NBA’s top brass, like LeBron James and Steph Curry, to recently retired footballer Peyton Manning were honored for all of their contributions to sports history.

The show was full of funny moments, mostly from the host, WWE’s John Cena, who wasn’t afraid to say anything about Tom Brady‘s infamous Deflategate scandal and Kevin Durant‘s big move to the Golden State Warriors. The harrowing stories of Zaevion Dobson and Craig Sager were also on display for the world to see that the influence of sports goes beyond the field.

Check out some of the best moments from the 2016 ESPYS below:

John Cena’s Opening Monologue

Host John held no punches during the opening monologue with a few no-so-subtle jabs at Peyton, LeBron, and newly minted Golden State Warrior Kevin. He said things sports fans had been thinking for the better part of a year.

NFL Player Eric Barry Overcoming Cancer

The ESPYS were full of inspiring moments, with stories of athletes overcoming major life issues who still succeeded in the world of sports. One Cancer survivor and NFL player Eric Berry’s story was no exception. In December 2014, the Kansas City Chiefs safety was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Just ten months later, he returned to the lineup and went on to make his fourth Pro Bowl.

Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, & LeBron James Give Black Lives Matter Speech

The most talked about moment from the awards was LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade‘s speech. The NBA’s elite player LeBron called on their fellow athletes to use their platforms for more than endorsement benefits and spoke on the issues of Black Lives Matter. Their collective speech was a defining way to open the show.

Craig Sager Accepting The Jimmy V Perseverance Award

Craig is everyone’s favorite sideline sports reporter. And if he isn’t, he should be. Craig has been fighting leukemia for the past few years and he refuses to let that stop him from covering games and wearing flashy suits. When he accepted the Jimmy V Perseverance Award he spoke to the crowd about overcoming any adversity placed before you. Not to mention, the award was presented to him by Vice President Joe Biden.

Zaevion Dobson’s Mom Accepts His Arthur Ashe Courage Award

It was announced earlier this year that Zaevion, the high school athlete who was shot and killed after he helped shield three girls from gunfire during a shooting, would receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Not only did his mother and two brothers accept the award on his behalf, but actor Michael B. Jordan was tapped to narrate Zaevion’s tragic yet heroic story.

SOURCE: YouTube, Twitter | IMAGE CREDIT: Getty

SEE MORE: 

ESPYS’ Highest Honor Goes To Teen Who Died Shielding Friends From Gunfire

Craig Sager to Receive Jimmy V Award For Perseverance At 2016 ESPYs

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