'Stuart Scott was a hero,' Gibbs says of the late ESPN anchor.
ESPN's Stuart Scott, who brought hip-hop to sports' national airwaves, attention to the fight against cancer, and joy to countless sports fans' days, died Sunday, Jan. 4. In what turned out to be his final public appearance, Stuart took the stage at the 2014 ESPY Awards to accept the Jimmy V Award and used everything he had inside himself to speak on what fighting really means. He reminded everyone watching that "When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer; you beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live." And it is in tribute to the life that Stuart Scott fought for that Billboard asked rapper, sports fanatic and ESPN devotee Freddie Gibbs to share his thoughts.
Sports is one of the keys to my life. It definitely kept me out of a lot of trouble and gave me a lot of discipline. I've been engulfed in sports since I was a 2-year-old; I picked up any kind of ball -- a basketball, baseball, football -- I just loved to play something. I loved the energy of being in arenas and watching the game on TV. My father took me to a lot of sports events as a child and our TV stayed on ESPN. My TV to this day stays on ESPN; I always have at least one TV in the house locked on ESPN at all times. When I wanted to start my brand, I just combined the streets with the sports: ESGN.
Coming up in America in the '80s and '90s, we were not too far removed from slavery. People forget that. Those effects and that tone during those times in America lingers on in the Black community, so to see a Black man excel in something is always an achievement. For me to get up every morning and look at this guy on the TV... Stuart Scott was a hero.