Zaevion Dobson Honored with Arthur Ashe Courage Award at 2016 ESPYs

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Critics took issue with Caitlyn Jenner being named the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2015 at the ESPYs.

Some folks out there thought there were more deserving individuals than a former Olympian who had recently decided to live life as a woman.

But no one can debate the merits of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award recipient in 2016.

His name was Zaevion Dobson and he died a true hero.

Zaevion Dobson

On December 17, 2015, Dobson was shot to death in Tennessee after using his body to shield two friends from an onslaught of bullets died in a gang-related shooting.

Neither Dobson nor his friends were the intended targets of this attack.

Zaevion played football for Fulton High School.

Accepting the award on behalf of their late loved one at the 2016 ESPYs were the young man's mother, Zenobia Dobson, and his two brothers, Zack Dobson and Markastin Taylor.

"I’d love to stand up here and tell you even more about Zaevion than you already know - all the hopes and dreams he had for the future, all the things I dreamed about for him," Zenobia said in her acceptance speech.

"But I feel the need to tell you something else."

She went on to say that four months after her son’s death, his 12-year-old cousin, JaJuan Latham, was murdered in a drive-by shooting.

As a result, she used this national platform to call for the redrafting of laws to make the acquisition of firearms more difficult.

Zenobia also addressed the professional athletes in attendance and asked them to consider why Zaevion died and what they can do to prevent the future loss of innocent life.

(Four of the NBA's biggest stars opened the ESPYs with a speech on how everyone must do more to prevent violence and racial strife.)

"We as a country need to take a stand to consider the effects of gun violence on families throughout America," Zenobia said.

Prior to Dobson's family accepting this award on his behalf, the ceremony aired a 12-minute long tribute video in honor of Zaevion. 

It was narrated by Michael B. Jordan and we've shared it below.

The official White House Twitter account also posted it on its account, including the following message as a caption:

"It's up to all of us to build a country that's worthy of Zaevion's promise."

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