The 2016 ESPYS echoed the devastating state of affairs recently plaguing America. Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James opened the annual award show with a hard-hitting message on social justice. The four superstar NBA players encouraged audience members about the necessary changes that needed to take place and how we all can play a part

“We cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America. The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust and anger that have plagued so many of us. The system is broken … but the urgency to create change is at an all-time high," Anthony said

Wade said with a sense of urgency, “Racial profiling has to stop. The shoot to kill mentality has to stop. Not seeing the value of black and brown values has to stop. But also the retaliation, has to stop. The endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando, it has to stop. Enough. Enough is enough…” Adding to the touching moments of the night, Zaevion Dobson was posthumously awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Dobson, a 15-year-old football player,  was shot and killed last year while trying to shield three girls from gunfire in Knoxville, TN

Michael B. Jordan narrated the video presentation about Dobson while NBA MVP Stephen Curry presented the award to Dobson's family.

Upon accepting the award, his mother, Zenobia touched the hearts of all who watched as she remembered her son and his 12-year-old cousin, killed 4 months later due to gun violence. She urged not only the athletes in the room but also viewers to fight back and consider the affects of gun violence on families across America. Her message advocated for Americans to push to rewrite laws about gun access and reminded athletes that people look up to them

With that influential power, she asked the players to think of why Zaevion Dobson died and consider what they could do to prevent the next victim.

The magnitude of her message and Zaevion's life left a lasting impression.

To close the night, NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar remembered his close friend and boxing legend, Muhammad Ali

"He spoke fearlessly about injustice and he sacrificed tremendously for his principles," he said. "In this day and age, at this moment in history, that's what I hope everyone remembers about Muhammad Ali. We're never going to see his likes again walking down the street, but I hope his death spurs his successors to remember what truly made him the greatest."

Chance the Rapper took us home with a stirring performance honoring Ali.

Here is the complete winners list of 2016 ESPYS via ESPN.

Best Record-Breaking Performance: Stephen Curry Best Breakthrough Athlete: Jake Arrieta Best Play: Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers Best Team: Cleveland Cavaliers Best Female Athlete: Breanna Stewart Best Male Athlete: LeBron James Best Championship Performance: LeBron James Best Game: NBA Finals Game 7 Best NBA Player: LeBron James Best MLB Player: Bryce Harper Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Jamie Anderson Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Ryan Dungey Best Jockey: Mario Gutierrez Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte Best Female College Athlete: Breanna Stewart Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Tatyana McFadden Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Richard Browne Best Upset: Holly Holm over Ronda Rousey Best Coach: Tyronn Lue Best International Athlete: Cristiano Ronaldo Best Fighter: Conor McGregor Best NFL Player: Cam Newton Best NHL Player: Sidney Crosby Best WNBA Player: Maya Moore Best Male College Athlete: Buddy Hield Best Driver: Kyle Busch Best Male Golfer: Jordan Spieth Best Female Golfer: Lydia Ko Best Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams Best MLS player: Sebastian Giovinco SPECIAL AWARDS Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Craig Sager Arthur Ashe Award for Courage: Zaevion Dobson Pat Tillman Award for Service: Sergeant Elizabeth Marks Best Moment: Cleveland wins first title in 52 years Best Comeback Athlete: Eric Berry Icon Award: Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning and Abby Wambach

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