Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs on Wednesday night, delivering a powerful speech that concluded with her second standing ovation of the night. You can watch it in its entirety below.
The highlight of the speech for many was the finale, which is excerpted below:
“You know, it is an honor to have the word ‘courage’ associated with my life, but on this night another word comes to mind, and that is ‘fortunate.’ I owe a lot to sports. It’s showed me the world. It’s given me an identity. If someone wanted to bully me, well you know what, I was the MVP of the football team—that just wasn’t going to be a problem. And the same goes tonight. 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 this is all 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 just about one person. It’s about thousands of people. It’s not just about me, it’s about all of us accepting one another. We’re all different. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. And while it may not easy to get past the things you [do not always] understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together.”
Reaction to Jenner’s words were positive, with Tamar Braxton and Russell Simmons tweeting:
— TAMAR BRAXTON (@TamarBraxtonHer) July 16, 2015
— IG: @UncleRUSH (@UncleRUSH) July 16, 2015
What did you think of her speech?
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