'Trans people deserve something vital: they deserve your respect': A teary eyed Caitlyn Jenner delivers moving acceptance speech after winning Courage award in front of nine of her children at the ESPYs Caitlyn Jenner gave a 25-minute acceptance speech after being presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs She appealed for respect for all trans people and called for athletes to set an example for others Always a controversial choice for the award, cynics took to Twitter to vent their disapproval Some cited publicity and money as reasons for honoring Jenner, while others felt there were far more deserving athletes The day before the awards, reports surfaced that a deal had been struck between representatives of Jenner and ESPN and ABC Caitlyn Jenner tearfully thanked her family while accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday at the ESPYs in Los Angeles. The 65-year-old honoree made her first major public appearance at the awards show since announcing her transitioning to a woman during an April tell-all interview with Diane Sawyer. Caitlyn got tearful toward the end of her 25-minute acceptance speech in which she gave a heartfelt appeal on behalf of trans youth. 'Trans people deserve something vital,' she said. 'They deserve your respect.' Jenner's children and stepchildren were present to see her accept the award After being presented the award by soccer player Abby Wambach, Jenner gave a heartfelt speech about the plight of transgender youth, tearing up towards the end Caitlyn Jenner might have skipped the ESPY red carpet, but that doesn't take away her crown for best dressed. Caitlyn took the stage in a stunning white gown while receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Although, her speech was quite memorable and teary-eyed, she made sure not to ruin her bronze make up or get a tear on her breath taking white dress. She was presented with the honour by Abby Wambach, who is also an Olympic gold medalist, and was part of the US women's soccer team that won the World Cup earlier this month. Caitlyn, 65, initially planned to appear on stage with all of her 10 children and stepchildren, including the Kardashian sisters, but they instead showed their support from the audience. However, it did not take long for cynical tweets to appear questioning why she had been chosen for the award above other potential honorees. USA Today: 'I don't think [Lauren] would have had a strong opinion on [the award] either way to be honest.' The special tribute was not enough to placate some viewers, who vented their disapproval on Twitter in favor of Hill. Hill was a popular choice to win the award Organizers of the ESPYs said that they planned to honor hill all along, but only announced they were doing so on Tuesday There was a special tribute to Lauren Hill who achieved her goal of playing college basketball while battling an inoperable brain tumor and raising money for cancer research Twitter was also filled with messages of congratulations for Jenner . Viewers, athletes and celebrities praised her for the courage she had shown and the example she had set to others With Rosie Perez describing the night as Caitlyn's 'best victory yet'. Monica Lewinsky called the speech 'beautiful' Soccer player Abby Wambach, of the U.S. women's national soccer team, left, presented Caitlyn Jenner with the courage award All white: Diane Sawyer also was at the awards ceremony after hosting the tell-all special in April in which the Olympics champion announced she was a woman There has been widespread speculation that a deal had been done to ensure Jenner received the award in exchange for the interview granted to Diane Sawyer, that screened on ABC's 20/20 in April. An insider told RadarOnline that Jenner's reps had brought the idea to ESPN, sister network to ABC, in exchange for PR plugs in the upcoming reality show 'I am Cait'. ESPN executives had loved the idea, but when negotiations hit a stumbling block, Jenner's agent reportedly threatened to pull the Sawyer interview. The issue was resolved and the interview went ahead as scheduled, but ESPY organizers claim the decision to honor Jenner was not made until May, the month after the Sawyer interview aired. The decision to honor Jenner has been controversial since it was first announced. Following the announcement Bob Costas said that Caitlyn wasn't 'deserving' of the bravery award. The NBC sportscaster described the move as a 'crass exploitation play' by the network and suggested that somebody 'actively involved in sports' should get it instead. Costas asserted that Jenner had been granted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award because she offers a 'gawker factor' to the awards ceremony itself, and boost TV audience figures for the ESPYs award ceremony. Costas asserted that Jenner had been granted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award because she offers a 'gawker factor' to The Kardashians and Jenners united for the occasion Sports hero: Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday during the ESPYs Award in Los Angeles and is shown (left) as Bruce Jenner competing in the 1976 Summer Olympics The former Olympian joins recent Arthur Ashe Courage Award recipients such as Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player, and sportscaster Robin Roberts, who survived breast cancer and the blood disease myelodysplastic syndrome. In its statement announcing Jenner's award, an ESPN boss said he hoped honouring Jenner would 'give comfort' to other transgender people struggling with their identity.' Jenner's Athletic Accomplishments 1974: American decathlete champion 1974: French national decathlete champion 1975: Set a world record of 8,524 points at a track meet in Eugene, Oregon 1976: Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon 1980: US National Track and Field Hall of Fame 1986: Olympic Hall of Fame 1994: Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame 1994: Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame 2010: San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Executive producer Maura Mandt said upon announcing the honour: 'Bruce [Jenner] has received many accolades over the years for being one of the greatest Olympians of our time, but The ESPYS are honored to celebrate Bruce becoming Caitlyn.' 'She has shown the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces.' Jenner herself was also quoted in the statement. She said: 'In the past few months, the overwhelming outpouring of support from all over the world for my journey has been incredible'.