ESPYs 2018: Larry Nassar survivors, coaches killed in Parkland shooting honored

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The ESPY Awards will recognize courage off the field by honoring survivors who stood against Larry Nassar and coaches killed in the Parkland shooting. (Phil McCarten/Invision/AP)

More than 140 survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of a former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University joined hands on stage to be honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPYs.

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night in a powerful and solemn closing to the show that honors the past year's top athletes and moments in sports.

Gymnast Aly Raisman, softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and gymnast Sarah Klein, who said she was Nasser's first victim 30 years ago, took turns speaking. Klein chided the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State for placing "money and medals above the safety of child athletes."

Nassar was sentenced earlier this year and will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison after more than 150 girls and women said he sexually abused them.

"I know for myself, when I speak I do the best that I can to speak on behalf of people who don't feel heard because I think everyone deserves to be heard," Raisman said. "It doesn't matter if you are an Olympic athlete or you're an actress in Hollywood. We are all human, we all deserve to be heard and we all deserve to be believed when you come forward."

The ceremony also posthumously honored three coaches: Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel and Chris Hixon. They died protecting students from gunfire in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting earlier this year.

The Best Coach Award has previously gone to coaches showing extraordinary leadership of their teams, but ESPN will commemorate the trio's heroism off the field.

Olympic snowboarding champion Chloe Kim won a leading three ESPYs, including best female athlete, while Alex Ovechkin claimed best male athlete.

KABC-TV contributed to this report.
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