Paige Bueckers wowed sports fans on Saturday night with her speech after accepting an award at the ESPYs.
The UConn women’s basketball star received the award for the best college athlete in women’s sports. She wowed the audience with her speech focusing on the achievements of Black women rather than her own.
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“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. They don’t get the media coverage that they deserve. They’ve given so much to the sport, the community and society as a whole and their value is undeniable,” the 19-year-old said.
“In the WNBA last season, the postseason awards, 80% of the winners were Black, but they got half the amount of coverage as the White athletes. So I think it’s time for a change.
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“Sports media holds the key to storylines. Sports media and sponsors tell us who was valuable, and you have told the world that I mattered today, and everyone who voted, thank you. But I think we should use this power together to also celebrate Black women.
“So to Maria Taylor, Robin Roberts, Maya Moore, Odicci Alexander. To all the incredible Black women in my life and on my teams. To Breonna Taylor and all the lives lost, and to those names who are not yet learned, but I hope to share, I stand behind you and I continue to follow you, follow your lead and fight for you guys so I just want to say thank you for everything.”
Bueckers was named the AP Player of the Year and Naismith Player of the Year in women’s basketball during the 2020-21 season.
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She is set to lead the Huskies again in her sophomore season later this year.