On December 17, 2015, 15-year-old Zaevion Dobson made the ultimate sacrifice: protecting three women from gun fire, resulting in his own death. His two friends were unharmed in the shooting.
Though gun control agendas will seem like a permanent fixture in America, ESPN won’t allow his heroism be forgotten. When the 2016 ESPY’s aired, Dobson was posthumously awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
“There’s nothing more courageous than somebody sacrificing their own life for somebody else,” said Maura Mandt, executive producer for the ESPYS.
The award, given annually since 1993, is given to the person that embodies Ashe’s spirit, who dedicated his life to human rights advocacy.
Dobson was a high school football player at Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tennessee when he shielded three women from gang-related gun fire. He died, but the women lived. His mother, Zenobia, will accept the award on his behalf.
Zenobia describes her son as a real hero who always stood up to bullies.
“He would stop bullies from bullying,” she said, according to ESPN. “He got bullied at a young age. He stepped up to the bully, and once he stepped up to the bully, he wasn’t afraid. If he saw kids getting bullied, he’d step in and say, ‘Don’t bully them.'”
That’s the markings of a hero if I’ve ever seen one.