R&B crooner Usher is being dipped in boiling hot grease after attempting what’s considered a bad joke during the 2019 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles about a female military hero who lost her leg during the war in Afghanistan.
Usher was giving the Pat Tillman Award to Kirstie Ennis for her military bravery and heroism. At the end of what was considered a powerful tribute to her — she lost her leg during her second tour of duty in the war-torn country — Usher went off script and made an awkward and ill-timed joke about one of her personal exploits.
“And if that wasn’t enough, you guys don’t know, she also, too, climbed in Joshua tree, naked,” Usher said before chuckling nervously. He added, “She deserves an award for that, alone. Tattoos, crazy.”
Uneasy laughter filled the auditorium and the “U Got it Bad” singer was almost immediately savaged on Twitter for his faux pas.
Hey usher, probably don’t make weird sexual comment about the Marine Vet who lost her leg and just had a whole inspirational video about her. Just a thought.
— Familia Fan Club (@ClubJeurys) July 11, 2019
Despite the pregnant pause between Usher’s joke and Ennis’ acceptance of the award, Ennis delivered an inspiring speech of bravery and coming back from a catastrophic injury suffered during battle.
“I am one of the lucky ones who came home. Broken, but I’m still here, and I still can. So I will continue every day for those who can’t. Let this be my message tonight. To the athletes in this room, to people in the military brotherhood and to everyone out there watching, rest a moment less, endure a fraction more and try to make peace with whatever your pain may be,” said Ennis.
Still, folks were heated about Usher’s joke and blasted him into oblivion:
— Human Comments (@Human_Comments_) July 11, 2019
— Samantha👽🤦♀️🐱 (@immarobokitty) July 11, 2019
Yeah Usher, just a taddddd creepy. “Hey this woman lost her leg while serving in Afghanistan and has since climbed a zillion mountains including Everest but what’s REALLY impressive was her climbing Joshua tree naked.” #ESPYS
— christina. (@_ceemarieee) July 11, 2019
Did Usher really need to ad lib during his introduction of Kirstie Ennis as the Pat Tillman Award for Service recipient and mention her naked mountain climbing? Full stop. #ESPYS
— Kelly M (@kellym506) July 11, 2019