The ESPYS on Wednesday posthumously honored three coaches killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Aaron Feis, 37, an assistant football coach at the Parkland, Florida high school; Scott Beigel, 35, a geography teacher and cross-country coach; and Chris Hixon, 49, the school’s athletic director who also coached wresting, were all given the Best Coach award at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The honor has previously been awarded to coaches for their work on the field, according to ESPN.
The mass shooting left 17 people dead on February 14.
Feis threw himself in front of students as bullets hailed down at the school, which was also his alma mater. Beigel was killed as he held the door open for students to escape.
“Heroes walked these halls. Remember that as much as anything else when you think about that fateful day,” narrator Connie Britton said in a video presentation.
The audience gave the families of the three victims a standing ovation.
Elliott Bonner, a Stoneman Douglas coach who spoke on behalf of the families, said that in addition to being heroes and coaches, the three men were “also husbands, fathers and sons.”
“We’re all so careful today to try to stay away from anything political, but the issue of gun violence and what happened at our school isn’t a political issue. It’s a human issue,” Bonner said to applause.
Bonner said he hoped the tragedy leads to what everyone wants: “more dialogue, a deeper understanding among students, educators and parents and officials, and ultimately action toward a solution for safe schools all across America.”