ESPN Snubs Real-Life Hero Peyton Hillis, Gives Arthur Ashe Award for Courage to ‘Woke’ USWNT Instead

ESPN is snubbing real-life hero Peyton Hillis, the former NFL running back who has been hospitalized for months after he saved multiple kids from drowning in a rip current in Florida.

Instead, the sports network is giving its courage award to “woke” soccer star Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. Women’s National Team.

The women’s soccer players will be honored for their apparent bravery during next month’s ESPY Awards.

According to ESPN,  the award goes to a “member or group in the sporting world who makes a difference far beyond the field of play, impacting the world in indelible ways.”

ESPN issued a statement that said: “The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for their resilient fight for equal pay off the field.

“The award is given to a deserving member or group in the sporting world who makes a difference far beyond the field of play, impacting the world in indelible ways.

“The USWNT players are longtime advocates of equality, and in March 2019, they began a legal battle with U.S. Soccer for equal pay with the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team.

“In 2022, the team reached a historic agreement that officially split men’s and women’s pay 50/50 and ultimately set a new global standard in sports and had a ripple effect outside of the sports world.

“Since then, the USWNT has continued to leverage [its] platform to raise awareness around pay inequity and social injustices in the United States.

“Past recipients of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage include Muhammad Ali (1997), Billie Jean King (1999), former president Nelson Mandela (2009), Caitlyn Jenner (2015), Bill Russell (2019), and Vitali Klitschko (2022).

“The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented each year to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. Past honorees include: Jim Valvano (1993); Steve Palermo (1994); Howard Cosell (1995); Loretta Claiborne (1996); Muhammad Ali (1997); Dean Smith (1998); Billie Jean King (1999);

“Dave Sanders (2000); Olympian Cathy Freeman (2001); Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, four passengers who lost their lives September 11 on United Flight 93 (2002);

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“Pat and Kevin Tillman (2003); Liberian-born soccer legend George Weah (2004); disabled athletes Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Jim MacLaren (2005); Afghan female athletes (2006); and Trevor Ringland and Dave Cullen for their work with PeacePlayers (2007);

“U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos (2008); former president Nelson Mandela (2009);  the Thomas family of Parkersburg, IA (2010); boxer Dewey Bozella (2011); women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt (2012); Robin Roberts (2013), Michael Sam (2014),

“Caitlyn Jenner (2015), Zaevion Dobson (2016), Eunice Kennedy Shriver (2017), “Sister Survivors” (2018), Bill Russell (2019), Kevin Love (2020), Maya Moore (2021), and Vitali Klitschko (2022).

“Chicago White Sox pitcher and cancer survivor Liam Hendriks will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, a symbol of his strength and resilience in his fight against non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“In Hendriks’ first game back on the mound this May, he threw 16 strikes against the Los Angeles Angels, bringing the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation as he walked back to the dugout.

“Battling cancer since late last year, Hendriks’ returned to the mound within six months and donated $100,000 to cancer research in the process.

“Past recipients of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance include Dick Vitale (2022), Chris Nikic (2021), Craig Sager (2016), and Stuart Scott (2014).

“After Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the field shook the world last January, the Buffalo Bills training staff exemplified mental toughness and immediately performed live-saving measures.

“In recognition of their commitment to every member of the team, the Bills training staff will be awarded the Pat Tillman Award for Service presented by MassMutual, an award given to a group with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes the legacy of the former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger, Pat Tillman.

“Past recipients of the Pat Tillman Award for Service include Gretchen Evans (2022), Kim Clavel (2020), and Jake Wood (2019).”

As Slay News reported, Hillis was hospitalized and close to death after saving two children from drowning in a swimming accident in Pensacola in January.

At the time of the incident, the 37-year-old had to be transported by helicopter to the ICU.

He was placed on a ventilator while dealing with issues with his kidneys.

The ex-NFL running back spent time with the Broncos, Browns, Giants, and Chiefs during his seven-year pro career, which spanned from 2008-14.

Hillis landed on the cover of the popular EA football video game Madden for the 2012 edition after placing first in a vote by fans.

He last played in an NFL game in 2014 for the Giants, appearing in nine games that season.

READ MORE: Riley Gaines Tells Megan Rapinoe to Pound Sand: ‘Disingenuous Virtue Signaling’

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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