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Sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage ward at ESPYs

Former gymnast Sarah Klein, former Michigan State softball

Former gymnast Sarah Klein, former Michigan State softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and gymnast Aly Raisman, from left in front, and others who suffered sexual abuse accept the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, in Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Phil McCarten/Invision/AP / Phil McCarten

LOS ANGELES — 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.”

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

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