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More than 140 survivors of sexual abuse by a former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University joined hands on stage to be honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPYs.

 

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night in a powerful and solemn closing to the show highlighting the past year's top athletes and moments in sports.

Gymnast Aly Raisman Rex Burkhead Jersey , softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and gymnast Sarah Klein, who said she was Nassar's first victim 30 years ago, took turns speaking. Klein chided the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State for placing "money and medals above the safety of child athletes."

Olympic snowboarding champion Chloe Kim won a leading three ESPYs, including best female athlete, while Alex Ovechkin claimed best male athlete.

Kim had tears in her eyes as she listened to the Arthur Ashe recipients.

"We must start caring about children's safety more than we care about adults' reputations," Klein said. "If we can just give one person the courage to use their voice, this is worth it."

Raisman added: "For too long we were ignored. It could have been avoided. All we needed was one adult to have the integrity to stand between us and Larry Nassar."

The audience gave the group a prolonged standing ovation and remained on its feet while the women spoke.

"What a powerful stage up here," host Danica Patrick said before signing off.

Ovechkin joined Roger Federer and Olympic snowboarder Shaun White as double winners. Ovechkin was in Russia with his wife, Nastya, who is 8陆 months pregnant.

Newly retired racecar driver Patrick became the first woman to host the show, held at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Her opening monologue mostly fell flat, with athletes sitting stone-faced or wincing at many of the jokes.

Kim took female athlete honors over Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin, WNBA player Sylvia Fowles and soccer player Julie Ertz.

"This year has been filled with so many incredible memories I will hold onto the rest of my life," Kim said as she held the silver trophy. "I really want to thank my family. They've sacrificed so much for me."

Kim also claimed trophies for best female Olympian and female action sports athlete. At the Pyeongchang Games in February Seth Roberts Jersey , she became the youngest to win a snowboarding medal when the then-17-year-old claimed gold in halfpipe.

Ovechkin, who led the Washington Capitals to their first Stanley Cup championship, also won for best NHL player. He beat out Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and fellow first-time nominees Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros and James Harden of the Houston Rockets for male athlete.

Federer's five-set victory at the Australian Open in January for his 20th Grand Slam singles title earned honors for record-breaking performance, and he also received best male tennis player.

White won best Olympic moment with his final-run performance in South Korea featuring back-to-back 1440s to take gold, and best male Olympian.

The Astros were honored as best team for winning the franchise's first World Series.

LeBron James, soon to be starring across the street at Staples Center with the Los Angeles Lakers, won best NBA player for the third straight year on his 14th consecutive nomination in the category.

Brady claimed best NFL player, while Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels won MLB player.

On a big night for Olympians, the U.S. women's hockey team earned best game honors for its shootout victory over Canada in the gold-medal game in South Korea.

Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz earned breakthrough athlete honors.

Quarterback Nick Foles received the championship performance trophy for leading the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl title.

The Minnesota Vikings earned best moment honors for beating the New Orleans Saints on the last play of the NFC divisional playoff game.

Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale won in the best play category for hitting a buzzer-beater in the NCAA women's title game.

The best coach award was given posthumously to Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel and Chris Hixon, all of whom died in the mass shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Former quarterback Jim Kelly received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance for his struggle with jaw cancer. Fellow NFL Hall of Famers Dan Marino and John Elway presented Kelly with the honor.

This story has been corrected to change the game in which the best moment award occurred to the NFC divisional playoff game instead of the NFC championship game.

 

 

Denzel Ward gets things done quickly.

 

One of the rookie cornerback's first goals was to earn a starting job. Check. Next was paying off the mortgage on his mom's house. Check. Then it was signing his NFL contract and reporting to training camp on time. Done.

Now he wants to help the Browns win. OK, that may take a minute.

But to this point, nothing has slowed the speedy Ward, who has impressed his teammates and Cleveland's coaches. After an eye-popping spring camp, the former Ohio State All-American has joined the first-team defense Jordy Nelson Jersey , and the Browns believe the 21-year-old is ready for the weekly challenge of covering elite wide receivers.

Ward's up for it.

"I'm very comfortable in who I am as a player," he said Friday without the slightest trace of arrogance. "I'm a fast player."

While Baker Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback selected first overall by the Browns, waits his turn behind Tyrod Taylor, Ward's already on the field.

And there's no reason to think he won't stay there.

Ward stood out during the Browns' first training camp practice on Thursday with several solid plays. He made a leaping interception down the sideline in front of three-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry during 11-on-11 drills, and Ward looked comfortable whether in goal-line situations or third-and-longs.

He did get beat on a go route by fellow rookie Antonio Callaway, who made a late adjustment to haul in a deep pass from Mayfield.

The catch drew applause from Browns fans, but Ward said the reception probably wouldn't have counted in a game.

"I think he stepped out of bounds," Ward said, smiling. "They caught it with the camera from over here, so they didn't really see it, but that was a great catch. He can definitely run."

So can Ward, whose quickness and ability to play man-to-man "press" coverage is what made him so appealing to the Browns, who surprised many draft experts by taking him so high after he was projected to be picked later in the first round.

His high profile notwithstanding, Ward has shown a willingness to work and improve since the day he arrived.

"He's pretty quiet off the field Adam Humphries Jersey ," said linebacker Christian Kirksey. "He's not a person that is going to sit there and just talk all day. He's going to do his job. He's going to do it to the best of his ability. He's very coachable. I believe that once he really gets comfortable with his role of being a lockdown corner, I think that the sky's the limit for him."

Ward has immersed himself in Cleveland's playbook, and beyond watching daily practice film, he's been taking a peek at tape of some future opponents.

The Browns open the season on Sept. 9 against Pittsburgh, which means Ward will make his regular-season debut against Steelers star Antonio Brown, widely considered the league's best all-around receiver.

"The game's not too big for him," coach Hue Jackson said. "Those moments are not too big for him. He's going to face some of the best receivers in the league. Think of the first game of the year, playing Antonio Brown, the best guy on the planet. So you better have real thick skin, and he has that."

It's helped Ward to prepare for Brown that he's been going head-to-head with Landry and Josh Gordon, who is currently away from the team to address health problems.

Ward said he's not intimidated by any matchup.

"Those guys are elite players, great guys and players," Ward said. "But we all put our shoes and pants on the same way, and just come out here and work."

Ward was the final member of Cleveland's rookie class to sign, finalizing his four-year Dan Marino Jersey , $29 million contract on Wednesday a day before players reported.

The deal includes a $19 million signing bonus, and the financial security prompted Ward, who grew up just outside Cleveland, to pay off the mortgage for his mother, Nicole. Ward's father, Paul, died two years ago.

"My mom has done a lot for me," he said. "So whatever I can do to make things easier for my mom, I'm down to do it."

He has everything covered.

NOTES: Greg Robinson, competing with Shon Coleman to replace Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas, was carted off with a head injury and will be evaluated. ... LB Mychal Kendricks participated in team drills for the first time since undergoing offseason ankle surgery. He was signed as a free agent in June after winning a Super Bowl with Philadelphia. ... The team signed DL Zaycoven Henderson and WR Blake Jackson.

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