How Women Ruled The Night (Not To Mention The Year) At 2015 ESPYS
LOS ANGELES -- It was ladies' night at the ESPYS.
From MMA superstar Ronda Rousey to all 23 members of the U.S. women's soccer team, female athletes took home heaps of hardware Wednesday night. It was a fitting way to cap a year of dominating, electrifying, game-changing performances from women in sports.
The youngest nominee, Mo'ne Davis, kicked things off for the ladies, capturing the Best Breakthrough Athlete award, beating out the talk of the PGA Tour, Jordan Spieth, and Giants rookie phenom Odell Beckham Jr.
Rousey not only took home the award for Best Female Athlete, but she also beat out Floyd Mayweather Jr. for Best Fighter. Serena Williams, winner of Best Female Tennis Player, wasn't in attendance, but every time the crowd saw a highlight of her spectacular year, rousing cheers ensued.
The Pat Tillman Award for Service went to former basketball player and Army veteran Danielle Green. Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still accepted the Jimmy V Perseverance Award on behalf of his 5-year-old daughter, Leah. And Lauren Hill's parents accepted the Best Moment award on their daughter's behalf, three months after the teen basketball player died from a brain tumor.
The vignette on Arthur Ashe Courage Award winner Caitlyn Jenner and her speech also were highlights of the night.
"Trans people deserve something vital; they deserve your respect," Jenner said. "If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn't have to take it."
"So for the people out there wondering what all this is about. Whether it's about courage or controversy or publicity, well, I'll tell you what it's all about. It's about what happens from here. It's not about just one person. It's about thousands of people. It's not just about me. It's about all of us accepting one another. We are all different. That's not a bad thing; that's a good thing. And while it may not be easy to get past the things you do not understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible, if we only do it together."
Shortly after Jenner's big moment, the parade of powerful women continued.
The U.S. women's national team took home the final award of the night, for Best Team. The women who captivated the nation en route to a Women's World Cup championship beat out uber-popular squads such as the UConn women's basketball team, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, the NBA champion Golden State Warriors and the NHL champion Chicago Blackhawks. It was the perfect ending to a night celebrating the year of Serena, Ronda, Mo'ne, Abby and more.