A farewell to Stuart Scott

By Fetlew Gebreziabher, Online Sports Editor

Stuart Scott, a broadcasting legend and pioneer who changed the culture of ESPN, passed away on Jan. 4 after a seven-year battle with cancer. He was 49.

As a child growing up watching ESPN, Scott was ESPN to me. He was the only broadcaster on TV that looked like me and talked like the grown ups around me. He made it okay to be yourself. He bridged that gap of hip-hop flavor and black lingo to a network that had never seen anything like it.

Scott, who graduated from the University of North Carolina, joined ESPN in October 1993 when ESPN2 launched.

Scott was always a favorite broadcaster of mine. He opened the doors for African-Americans to not be afraid to show their culture on television. He made catch phrases such as “Boo-yah,” “Cool as the other side of the pillow,” and even rapper LL Cool J references famous. He did not shy away or try to change himself, even when his job was on the line. He was true to himself.

In July of 2014, Scott was the recipient of the 2014 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and gave a heartfelt speech that embodied  who he was as a person. His words, “When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live” touched not only people who are or have been affected by cancer, but everyone who is fighting any battle.

Scott’s courage throughout his entire fight is what we will all remember about him. He was the one who would go to work even when doctors advised him to take time off. The one who was still attending his daughter’s soccer games and helping his oldest daughter move for her freshman year of college.

I never got to meet Scott, and unfortunately never will, but he has influenced me in ways he will never know. I hope to continue what he brought into the broadcasting world when he was alive.

Rest in peace, Stuart Scott. Thank you for all that you did and who you were. We will never forget you.

In the words of the great Michael Jordan, “Boo-yah, my brother.”