Saints superfan Jarrius Robertson honored at ESPYS
New Orleans Saints superfan Jarrius "JJ" Roberston was honored at The 25th ESPYS with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award on Thursday.
Robertson, who is 15 years old, has been battling a chronic liver disease called biliary atresia. Saints players met Robertson during a visit to the Ochsner Hospital for Children in 2015 and since the, he has been dubbed the official "hype man" and social media master for the team. He has inspired fans with his dance moves, cheerful attitude and inspiring outlook on life.
Robertson has had two liver transplants and 13 surgeries. His health battle has not stopped him from being at home and away games and even joining the team at practices.
Robertson said that he feels blessed to receive the honor and could not believe the news.
"When I first heard the news I thought I was dreaming!" Robertson said. "The ESPYS? For real? The past two years have been a blessing in so many ways for me and my family. I have been able to do things I never thought I would be able to do. But to be included with Craig Sager, Stuart Scott, Leah and Devon Still, Eric LeGrand and the man himself, Jimmy V, is truly amazing and I am really grateful and humbled."
Saints quarterback Drew Brees describes Robertson as an inspirational young man.
"His strength, determination and resolve along with his infectious energy and attitude should be an example that no matter the circumstances or adversity with a positive outlook and embracing the motto of 'Don't Give Up… Don't Ever Give Up' there isn't a challenge that cannot be conquered."
The Jimmy V Perseverance Award was created in honor of the late Jim Valvano who battled cancer and gave an emotional acceptance speech at the 1993 ESPYS. It included his famous words "Don't Give Up . . . Don't Ever Give Up!"®. Valvano passed away less than two months later.
Saints head coach Sean Peyton, said that he believes Valvano would also be inspired by Robertson.
The Jimmy V Perseverance Award is given to a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. In 2007, Women's College basketball coach Kay Yow became the very first recipient of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. Past recipients include Eric LeGrand, Anthony Robles, George Karl, Dick and Rick Hoyt, Stuart Scott, Devon and Leah Still, and Craig Sager.