Decoded: Arthur Ashe Courage Award

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ESPYs Producers Explain Why They Chose Caitlyn Jenner for Arthur Ashe Award


You may have heard of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award lately -- and for a good reason. This year, the prestigious award -- which is presented annually at the ESPY Awards to a notable sports figure for whose contributions transcend sports -- will be presented to Caitlyn Jenner.

Caitlyn Jenner is introduced to the world:
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Caitlyn Jenner is introduced to the world
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Decoded: Arthur Ashe Courage Award
In this June 1, 2015 photo, a journalist looks at Vanity Fair's Twitter site with the Tweet about Caitlyn Jenner, who will be featured on the July cover of the magazine. Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender Olympic champion formerly known as Bruce, on Monday unveiled her new name and look in a sexy Vanity Fair cover shoot -- drawing widespread praise, including from the White House. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaigners -- and many well-wishers -- welcomed the high-profile debut, as did the 65-year-old Jenner's family, which includes the media-savvy celebrity Kardashian clan. 'I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self,' Jenner wrote in her first tweet after the magazine released the July cover photo by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. (Photo credit Mladen Antonov, AFP/Getty Images)
Great day yesterday for Father's Day. We had so much fun off-roading. So much love and support! Love my family!
The best thing about being a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun #Caitlyn #ServingCindyMcCainRealness #TransRepubsAreTheBestRepubs (dying for that old school glamour waist to breast ratio)
A photo editor views the July cover of Vanity Fair featuring Caitlyn Jenner on June 1, 2015 in Westwood, California. Formerly known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner is an Olympic atlete who came out publicly as transgender in a televised interview with Diane Sawyer. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Caitlyn Jenner poses for Annie Leibovitz on the cover of Vanity Fair #CallMeCaitlyn http://t.co/NRyh6R09RR http://t.co/GO1ZgJJKBR
SO gorgeous!!!! RT #BruceJenner's first photo as a woman revealed! Meet #CaitlynJenner HERE! http://t.co/eXq7FSK4Vl #CallMeCaitlyn
Finally free. This made me stop. The feeling of freedom. You go @Caitlyn_Jenner! https://t.co/P4nDwltjxi
#CallMeCaitlyn: Caitlyn Jenner was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for @VanityFair cover http://t.co/vKHoOCvBzO
BEAUTIFUL!!! #callmecaitlyn
CAITLYN!!!!!!!!!! Love this. So happy for her. https://t.co/YOo4kdBOJl
Caitlyn? But why isn't it Kaitlyn with a K? (Bravo, Ms. Jenner!)
Congratulations Caitlyn
❤️RT @VanityFair: I’m not doing this to be interesting. I’m doing this to live #CallMeCaitlyn http://t.co/Fkpu3xYYX5 http://t.co/cFKkBeQN4V
#CaitlynJenner has truly broken the Internet. What a moment.
❤️🔥🔥🔥🔥 YAS 🔥🔥🔥🔥❤️
Caitlyn Jenner for Vanity Fair 📷 Annie Leibovitz! How beautiful! Be happy, be proud, live life YOUR way!
now that's a cover.
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Almost 40 years ago, gold medal Olympic champion Bruce Jenner broke world records, capturing America's heart with his Olympic strength and determination. Now, the sports world is recognizing Jenner for her ultimate courage to come out as a transgender woman, which has captured America's attention once again. The ESPY Awards will air on ABC at 8/7C on Wednesday.

Arthur Ashe was an American World No. 1 professional tennis player -- the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, or the Australian Open. He was a fearless civil rights activist and his commitment to social justice left a mark on the world, leaving a legacy both on and off the tennis court.

Past recipients of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award include Muhammad Ali in 1997 and Nelson Mandela in 2009.

Past recipients:
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Arthur Ashe Award Recipients
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Decoded: Arthur Ashe Courage Award

1993

Jim Valvano, college basketball coach 

(AP Photo/Jack Smith)

1994

Steve Palermo, MLB umpire 

(AP Photo)

1995

Howard Cosell, Sports Journalist 

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

1996

Loretta Claiborne, Speaker and Special Olympian 

(Manchul Kim/AP Images for Special Olympics)

1997

Muhammad Ali, Boxer

(AP Photo/John Rooney, File)

1998

Dean Smith, college basketball coach 

(AP Photo)

1999

Billie Jean King, tennis player 

(AP Photo)

2000

William "Dave" Sanders (posthumously) the Columbine High School coach and teacher who died while trying to save students' lives during the murderous rampage at the Colorado school.

(AP Photo/Laura Rauch)

2001

Cathy Freeman, Olympic sprinter

(AP Photo/Laura Rauch)

2002

Alice Hoglan, Lyz Glick, Deena Burnett, and Lisa Beamer accept ESPY's Arthur Ashe Courage Award on behalf of Mark Bingham, Jeremy Glick, Tom Burnett, and Todd Beamer, four passengers who died on Flight 93 during the Sept. 11 attacks. They all had sports backgrounds.

(Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)

2003

Richard Tillman accepting the Arthur Ashe Award for his brothers, Pat and Kevin Tillman

(Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage for ESPN)

2004

George Weah, soccer player

(AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

2005

Jim MacLaren and Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

MacLaren, a marathoner, Ironman triathlete and motivational speaker, survived two serious accidents where he lost a leg and became a partial quadriplegic. Yeboah, born with a severely deformed right leg, has dedicated his life to changing the perceptions of the disabled in his homeland of Ghana.

(AP Photo/Mark Terrill)

2006

Roia Noor Ahman and Shamila Kohestani

(Photo by J. Strauss/FilmMagic)

2007

Dave Cullen and Trevor Ringland, Irish athletes of PeacePlayers International 

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

2008

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Olympians 

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

2009

Nelson Mandela 

(AP Photo/Theana Calitz-Bilt, Pool, File)

2010

Ed Thomas

Local residents walk past a photo of Aplington-Parkersburg High School football coach Ed Thomas before a vigil Wednesday, June 24, 2009, in Parkersburg, Iowa. A gunman shot Thomas in the school's weight room. 

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

2011

Dewey Bozella, boxer

(AP Photo/Jae Hong)

2012

Tennessee head coach emeritus Pat Summitt  

(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

2013

Robin Roberts

 (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

2014

Michael Sam 

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

2015

Caitlyn Jenner

(Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)

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