Awkward! Ben Affleck is a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, but at the 2015 ESPYs on July 15, he was tasked with presenting an award to New York Yankees legend, Derek Jeter. Luckily, Captain Clutch himself recognized the irony of that situation, and made a quick joke about it while accepting his trophy.
As a Red Sox fan, Ben Affleck, 42, HATES the New York Yankees, but he still managed to deliver a touching speech about the team’s iconic star, Derek Jeter, 41, at the ESPY Awards on July 15. And while accepting his Icon Award, Derek noted the obvious rivalry, and praised the actor for keeping so composed while praising him. Watch it here!
First of all, let’s not forget to note that Ben has been going through a tough time lately — he and Jennifer Garner, 43, announced their divorce on June 30. Surprisingly, he was still wearing his wedding ring, and appeared to be in decent spirits while taking the stage at the ESPYS.
“Hi I’m Ben Affleck, I’m from Boston. If you’re from Boston, you always wanted to hate our next honoree, but there was something about him that made the Boos ring a little hollow,” he said, with a smile. “Maybe it was his inimitable class. Maybe it was that he won with dignity and lost with grace. Maybe it was simply that we knew, no matter what, he was a winner, regardless. Boston sports fans can be many things, but we know baseball, and we respect those who play the game the way it’s as meant to be played. He broke my heart 100 times, if not more. And he broke it again when he retired, because he was absolutely one of the very best ever to play the game of baseball. So to you, Derek Jeter, I tip my hat, and I thank you for every last moment of your incredible career. You made the game better for everyone.”
How sweet was that?! When Derek took the stage he and Ben shared a quick embrace, and Ben even burst out laughing before letting the sports legend take the stage. “I just told Ben I know it pained him to say every one of those words, so thank you very much,” DJ explained to the crowd. We love that these guys are able to joke about the rivalry!
“As some of you may know, I’ve had a special relationship with the fans and my teammates over the last 20 years, but in retirement, I’ve come to realize that being a part of the larger community of sports is a gift and more importantly it’s an honor,” Derek continued. When you’re playing you have the fans and your teammates, they root for you. You have your opponents and your rivals, they motivate you. But for me, it was always the fellow athletes from all different sports who inspired me. So I just want to take this moment to thank everyone here and congratulate all the athletes, the winners, the nominees and everyone here because you guys all deserve this. You inspired me for years and you continue to inspire me. I want to thank my family, my sister, who’s here today — my family and friends for all their support. My teammates, Yankee fans throughout the country — the greatest fans in the world — who allowed me to be part of their family since 1995 when I was 20 years old. For anyone doing math I’m 35. I want to thank ESPN for giving me this award. I’ll continue to be a part of sports and hopefully I’ll continue to help athletes share their stories with fans.”
Okay, yep — that was officially one of the greatest moments of the show! What did you think, HollywoodLifers?
— Alyssa Norwin