2014 WNBA champion Maya Moore, a champion for criminal justice reform, was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2021 ESPYs on Saturday night. The four-time WNBA champion was presented with the award by Robin Roberts on what would have been Ashe’s 78th birthday.
Moore’s husband, Johnathon Irons, escorted her to the stage to accept the award where she gave a powerful, moving speech to the socially distant tables on the rooftop of Pier 17 in New York.
“Power is not meant to be gripped with a clenched fist, … power is meant to be handled generously so we can thoughtfully empower one another to thrive in our communities, … championing our humanity before our ambitions.” —@MooreMaya pic.twitter.com/NcLo4VdfPh
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2021
Moore offered a compassionate plea to be courageous in all aspects of life, not just in the ones made out for one to be. She acknowledged stepping away from the game of basketball took courage, but the true courage that won her the award has been in the emotional, mental and spiritual outpouring of love when fighting for injustice.
“Power is not meant to be gripped with a clenched fist, … power is meant to be handled generously so we can thoughtfully empower one another to thrive in our communities, … championing our humanity before our ambitions.”
In Mar. 2020, Moore aided in Irons exoneration and release from prison after being wrongly convicted for burglary and assault chargers in 1998. Irons is just one of the many individuals Moore and her social action platform Win with Justice have aided in the fight for criminal justice reform.
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