Zaevion Dobson’s mother accepts Arthur Ashe Courage ESPY

Knoxville teen killed shielding two girls from gunfire

(source: ESPN)

LOS ANGELES (WATE) – Knoxville teen hero Zaevion Dobson posthumously received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award Wednesday night at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.

“Arthur Ashe was a leading example of strength and courage for us as a family, and we feel blessed and honored that our Zaevion joined the ranks of this award’s honorees,” said Zaevion’s mother Zenobia as she accepted the award on his behalf.

More: Knoxville high school football player Zaevion Dobson killed in gang shooting

Dobson was shot and killed last December while shielding two girls, Faith Gordon and Kiara Rucker, from gunfire in what was described as a random gang related shooting. Zaevion Dobson was not involved in a gang.

NBA basketball player Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, presents the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
NBA basketball player Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, presents the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“As you know, Zaevion was killed by passing gunfire on December 17, 2015, but you probably don’t know that four months later, his 12-month-old cousin Jajuan Latham was killed in a drive-by shooting,” said Zenobia Dobson. “So in honor of Zaevion and Jajuan and so many others, I’m here to fight back. We as a country need to take a stand to consider the effects of gun violence on families throughout America.”

More: 2 Knoxville girls forever grateful to Zaevion Dobson for saving their lives

Zenobia Dobson said in her acceptance speech her son’s shooting should serve as a rallying cry for tougher gun laws.

“We need to rewrite laws to make it harder for people to get guns. Some progress has been made, but just a few months in Tennessee, a law was passed a few months ago to allow more people to carry guns on college campuses. What sense does that make?” Zenobia Dobson asked.

More online: 12-year-old Jajuan Latham killed in shooting

She called on those in the room at the ESPYs to think about why Zaevion Dobson died and what they can do to prevent more similar occurrences from happening.

“If my son were here tonight, I know what I would say to him. ‘Zaevion, your dreams and visions are here with us to prove that your act of bravery and boldness reveal to the world the real you: handsome strong and with a beautiful spirit. You remain a guardian angel to us.'”

More coverage: Zaevion Dobson

Fulton hosts teary-eyed watch party in Downtown Knoxville

There wasn’t a dry eye at the watch party downtown Regal Riviera either. Teammates, coaches and friends of the Fulton family all came out to show support.

Before the show even started there were long lines waiting to get into the theater. When the Arthur Ashe Courage Award was being presented everyone got focused and they were really tuned in to the amazing tribute ESPN put together to honor Zaevion.

Uriah Richey the first ever recipient of the Zaevion Dobson scholarship was in attendance.  The Fulton grad says she was truly inspired by the tribute and what Zenobia had to say.

“Everything that Zenobia said it needs to be heard. He’s leaving a legacy. It’s all over the world now and I couldn’t be happier that he did what he did but it’s still sad that he’s physically not here to see that. But I know that he’s with us and I know that he has to be happy watching this. Everything that Ms Zenobia said the gun violence has to stop because him and Jajuan that wasn’t necessary.”

Watch: Pat Summitt, Peyton Manning, Eric Berry, Zaevion Dobson honored at ESPY Awards

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