From host Anthony Mackie's opening monologue to the very end, the 2021 ESPYS were a night to remember.
Mackie, who was recently revealed as Captain America in Marvel's "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," started the show by sharing his thoughts on Sha'Carri Richardson's suspension from the U.S. Olympic team and Naomi Osaka's punishment for skipping French Open media obligations.
After addressing these instances, Mackie poked fun at himself saying: "But hey, what do I know, right? I'm just Captain America."
Richardson later sat down with The Undefeated to discuss her future aspirations.
Sha'Carri Richardson talks her inspirations during our 2021 ESPYS recap. pic.twitter.com/JGlVoCZBcy— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) July 11, 2021
He also acknowledged the presence of Scripps National Spelling Bee champion Zaila Avant-garde.
"This kid can do anything," he said." She can hit a step-back like Luka Doncic and then spell Luka Doncic right the first time."
Naomi Osaka wins the 2021 ESPY for Best Female Athlete
Naomi Osaka addresses the crowd at the 2021 ESPYS after winning Best Female Athlete.
A little later at The Rooftop at Pier 17 in New York, Osaka accepted the Best Female Athlete award, which was her first ESPY. After withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year, she will represent Japan at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
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Chris Nikic wins Jimmy V Award, looking to be inspiration to others
Chris Nikic discusses his journey to completing an Ironman and becoming the 2021 Jimmy V award recipient.
Ironman Chris Nikic delivered an incredibly powerful speech as he accepted the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman in November 2020.
"People ask: Why don't you quit?" he said. "Because my dream is bigger than my pain."
Nikic also added that he's "adorable, single and available."
Paige Bueckers advocates for Black female athletes
UConn basketball player Paige Bueckers has a strong message for the support of Black female athletes after winning Women's Collegiate Athlete of the Year.
UConn basketball star Paige Bueckers accepted the Best College Athlete, Women's Sports ESPY and used her speech to celebrate Black women.
"With the light that I have now as a white woman who leads a Black-led sport and celebrated here, I want to shed a light on Black women," said Bueckers. "They've given so much to the sport, the community and society as a whole and their value is undeniable."
She also thanked her coaches, teammates and other influential figures in her life.
Maya Moore calls on 'championing humanity'
Maya Moore offers a passionate plea to be courageous in all aspects of life when fighting injustice while receiving the Arthur Ashe Award.
Maya Moore was presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. In 2019, the Minnesota Lynx legend made headlines for halting her career in order to address prison reform, focusing on the wrongful conviction of Jonathan Irons.
"These sacrifices we make in sports are great, but I would invite you to see them as just pointers to the sacrifices of life that matter most," Moore said. "Power is not meant to be gripped with a clenched fist or to be hoarded. But power is meant to be handled generously so we can thoughtfully empower one another to thrive in our communities for love's sake, championing our humanity before our ambitions."
Irons was exonerated in 2020 and the two publicly announced their marriage later in the year.