Stuart Scott, famed ESPN broadcaster who battled cancer since 2007, died Sunday. His death hit home with many sports fans, who watched Scott transform the broadcasting world with quirky calls and phrases — “boo-ya!” and “cool as the other side of the pillow” — during highlight reels.
Scott leaves behind a legacy that hits more than just American sports fans, though. He inspired many of his co-workers with his exceptional work ethic, according to an ESPN statement.
The Times reported that Scott was always fighting his cancer, even when times were tough. One of the more iconic images of Scott shows him using a jump rope while wearing a black t-shirt labeled “I Fight Everyday.” But he didn’t let it define him.
Scott didn’t approach his cancer battle like many others have. He told Richard Sandomir, a reporter for the New York Times, that he neglected to learn what stage of cancer he had or find out how the chemotherapy treatment was going. In a now-famous speech Scott gave at ESPN’s award show, he said the only way to fight cancer is to live every day and give everything you can to life.
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” Scott said at the ESPYs. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.”
Scott said in his speech that he lived for his family. He said his daughters were everything to him, and the reason he was alive.
"The best thing I have ever done, the best thing I will ever do is be a dad to Taelor and Sydni,” Scott said. “Taelor and Sydni, I love you guys more than I will ever be able to express. You two are my heartbeat. I am standing here on this stage tonight because of you.”
When he couldn’t fight, he looked to his family for support.
“This whole fight, this journey thing, is not a solo venture,” he said in his speech. “This is something that requires support.” He added, “So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”
Scott’s sister, Susan, said he often turned to his family when he was going through rough times with his cancer, according to a New York Times article last March.
“I think he can only live with this by not even incorporating the potential end of it,” Susan told The Times. “It’s too weighty. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t think about it, but to let it in starts to validate it and gives it more heft.”
That is what helped Scott survive as long as he did. He fought for his family.