Paige Bueckers Honors Black Women in Powerful ESPYS Speech

Paige Bueckers took home the ESPY for being the Best Women’s College Athlete on Saturday night. But it was the acceptance speech that came from UConn’s star point guard celebrating Black women that had the sports world buzzing.

Bueckers’ speech pointed out the lack of media coverage that Black women deserve despite what they have given to the sport, the community and society as a whole off the floor, as well as 80 percent of the postseason awards collected last season on it.

“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,” Bueckers said, per Yahoo!. “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.”

“To all the incredible Black women in my life, on my teams. To Breonna Taylor and all the lives lost. To those names I have not yet learned but I hope to share—I stand behind you and I will continue to follow you and follow your lead and fight for you guys.”

Then she acknowledged other Black women trailblazers such as Maria Taylor, Robin Roberts, Odicci Alexander and Maya Moore, who received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, joining the ranks of previous winners Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela and Billie Jean King.

After the awards ceremony, Paige explained even further to ESPN’s The Undefeated on her decision to honor Black women in her speech.

Playing for a storied UConn program known for guards, Bueckers averaged 20 points and 5 assists a game on a Final Four Huskies team with a 28-2 record. She was the first freshman to win the John Wooden Award as the best women’s college basketball player.