Zaevion Dobson, the 15-year-old high school football player who shielded three young women from gunfire last December, will be granted the coveted Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2016 ESPY Awards. Dobson died during the shootout, saving the lives of those he covered.
During the the July 13 awards ceremony, the Knoxville, Tenn. teen’s family will be given the award due to Dobson’s “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 Huffington Post wrote.
In a press release, Maura Mandt, the ESPYs executive producer stressed that “Zaevion’s actions to risk his own life for others” embodies courage and has inspired others. “By celebrating Zaevion’s legacy, we hope to bring more attention to this serious issue and continued focus on the tragic loss of lives to gun violence,” she said.
As HELLO BEAUTIFUL previously reported, Dobson and several friends were hanging out on the evening of December 17th when 23-year-old Brandon Perry drove through the neighborhood and “randomly fired multiple times.” Dobson was killed when he threw himself over three girls to protect them from the gunfire.
Dobson’s death was mourned by the entire city while the Knoxville’s mayor stressed that the teen inspired others to do and be better.
“[Dobson was] involved in sports and a mentee of one of our organizations in town. But still he falls victim to this…He was really one of our success stories” mayor Madeline Rogero said at a press conference about the deaths last winter.
Dobson’s mother will be accepting the award on her son’s behalf.
“The family of Zaevion William Dobson accepts with great appreciation the honorable Arthur Ashe Award on behalf of our beloved young man of valor, who sacrificed himself to save others,” Zenobia Dobson said. “Arthur Ashe was a leading example of strength and courage for us as a family, and we feel truly blessed and honored that our Zaevion joins the ranks of honorees.”
She concluded, “Like Arthur Ashe, Zaevion faced obstacles, but he overcame them. [And] with this award, we know that Zaevion’s name and example will never be forgotten.”