The Heart and Courage of Robin Roberts
It’s not often that an awards show brings me to tears, but watching a replay of the ESPYS a few nights ago reduced me to a bawling mess.
I tuned in just before the Arthur Ashe Award for courage was to be presented. Outstanding individuals like Jimmy V, Muhamed Ali and Billie Jean King and have received this award over its 20 year history.
According to ESPN.com, “The Ashe Award is one of the most prestigious in sports. Recipients reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost. The award is inspired by the life that Ashe lived, using his fame and stature to advocate for human rights, although, at the time, those positions may have been unpopular and were often controversial. From speaking out against apartheid in South Africa to revealing to the world his struggle with AIDS, Ashe never backed away from a difficult issue, even though doing so would have been easier. Winners of the Ashe Award strive to carry on Ashe’s legacy in their own lives – - inspired by those who do so each day.”
This year the recipient, Robin Roberts, is someone who you probably know off the court. By profession she is a journalist, but she has become so much more than that. Before watching this presentation I thought of her as a courageous woman who had fought a very personal battle with cancer,publicly as a host of ABC’s Good Morning America.
Watching her story during the ESPYS unveiled more layers of strength, perseverance and integrity. Her story is inspirational and moving whether you are a sports fan or not. It was by chance that I happened to see it, and I feel it’s worth sharing.
I found her ability to express her personal journey with such heart-breaking honesty to be incredibly admirable, and her acceptance speech to flawlessly follow it. I hope that it moves you, as it moved it moved me.