“Trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect,” Caitlyn Jenner said with a slight quiver in her voice. She delivered the speech at last night’s ESPYs (presented by Capital One), where she was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage award. “If you want to call me names, make jokes about my intentions—go ahead. Because the reality is, I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there, coming to terms with who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it,” she said.
It had already been a three-hankie evening. Cincinnati Bengal Devon Still, whose five-year-old daughter, Leah, is fighting cancer, accepted a Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. She was unable to attend but sent a short video. Notre Dame basketball player and Iraq veteran Danielle Green picked up the second-ever Pat Tillman Award for Service. Green talked about fellow soldiers going back to a combat zone to find her wedding ring after she lost her hand in battle. Whew.
The evening’s emcee, Joel McHale, was a bit meh. I’ve seen him kill in smaller rooms. He even hedged his bets, making fun of his opening monologue early with an ESPN spoof of their 30 for 30 documentaries. “This is our night,” LeBron James said as he accepted a Best Championship Performance Award, referring to the athletes in the room. In the end, it was really a night for sportswomen, with little leaguer Mo’ne Davis winning Best Breakthrough Athlete, Ronda Rousey picking up Best Fighter, and the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team picking up Best Team. Check out the photos below.