In terms of WNBA players that stole the headlines at this year’s ESPY Awards, the Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart was the headliner as she won Best Female Athlete and Best Female College Athlete. Among the nominees for the Best Female Athlete award was reigning WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne, who will be a teammate of hers at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Olympians Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles were also nominees for the award.
When accepting her award, “Stewie” used her platform to push for a change in terms of the recognition women athletes receive for their athletic accomplishments.
During my time in college, I received an enormous amount of media attention. I’m grateful for that. And now that I’m in the WNBA, playing with other amazing female athletes, I’m trying to understand why we—as professional female athletes—don’t receive anywhere near the fame. This has to change. And I know that everyone in this room loves and supports women and girls in sports, and wants to be a part of that change, right?
She finished off her remarks with a simple but subtle message…
Equality for all takes each of us making an effort. Thank you for this honor and together, let’s be better.
Maya Moore also won the award for Best WNBA Player.
Among those who presented awards included Lisa Leslie…
And Skylar Diggins, who received this shoutout on Twitter from her Dallas Wings teammate Aerial Powers.
— Aerial Powers (@aerialpowers23) July 14, 2016
Along with a strong showing at the ESPYs by WNBA notables, the awards also had its moments that went past sports. It opened with a stirring call from LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade for an end to the violence that has become a hot button topic across the country.
A powerful and stunning opening to an awards ceremony. Carmelo, LeBron, D. Wade & Chris Paul, activist athletes all. https://t.co/z0CyeGI9ke
— Dave Phillips (@lovefutebol) July 14, 2016
Vice President Joe Biden presented TNT’s Craig Sager with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award.
— Brian Schnee (@brian_schnee) July 14, 2016
Zaevion Dobson, the Tennessee high school football player who shielded two girls from gunfire posthumously received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Chance the Rapper also delivered this musical tribute to Muhammad Ali.