However, following an inspiring and empowering video about Ennis's remarkable recovery after losing her leg in 2012 on her second Afghanistan deployment, and her many amazing triumphs and accomplishments since, Usher made the mistake of inserting the wrong joke at the wrong time.
"And if that wasn't enough, you guys don't know, she also, too, climbed in Joshua tree, naked," Usher said to a quiet room. He added, "She deserves an award for that, alone. Tattoos, crazy," before introducing Ennis and welcoming her to the stage.
Viewers were not down with Usher's comment, which was viewed as insensitive in the #MeToo era, and quickly took to social media to express their opinions.
Hey usher, probably don’t make weird sexual comment about the Marine Vet who lost her leg and just had a whole inspirational video about her. Just a thought.— Familia Fan Club (@ClubJeurys) July 11, 2019
woman wins award for accomplishing amazing things and surviving indescribable pain. man sexualizes her at the last minute. #espys— wendy (@wini_s) July 11, 2019
Yeah Usher, just a taddddd creepy. “Hey this woman lost her leg while serving in Afghanistan and has since climbed a zillion mountains including Everest but what’s REALLY impressive was her climbing Joshua tree naked.” #ESPYS— christina. (@_ceemarieee) July 11, 2019
Did Usher really need to ad lib during his introduction of Kirstie Ennis as the Pat Tillman Award for Service recipient and mention her naked mountain climbing? Full stop. #ESPYS— Kelly M (@kellym506) July 11, 2019
Not the best moment for Usher but, fortunately, it didn't overshadow Ennis's inspiring acceptance speech and final message to everyone watching.
"I am one of the lucky ones who came home. Broken, but I'm still here, and I still can. So I will continue every day for those who can't. Let this be my message tonight. To the athletes in this room, to people in the military brotherhood and to everyone out there watching, rest a moment less, endure a fraction more and try to make peace with whatever your pain may be," said Ennis to a standing ovation.
Check out Tracy Morgan’s ESPYs opening monologue being slammed by viewers:
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