The final pieces are coming together for tonight’s inaugural Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards, a first-of-its-kind event in the world of sports, where teams and athletes from a variety of professional leagues will gather to celebrate those who positively affect others through their selflessness and charitable work.
“What makes this new event distinct is how it’s gathering the different sports leagues and governing bodies to shine a light on the difference-making work being done off the field and in the community,” said ESPN’s Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Kevin Martinez.
Prior to the event, hosted by former boxer Laila Ali at LA’s Conga Room, First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome attendees via video. The evening will benefit the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at The V Foundation. Highlights from the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards will air in a 30-minute special next Thursday, July 23 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The winners of the Sports Humanitarian of the Year and Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year will be announced by presenters such as NBA All-Star Dwight Howard, 2015 Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza, US Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe and “The Office” actor Rainn Wilson. Although only one will win in each category, the winners and all finalists will be awarded with financial grants worth $400,000 collectively to the various causes that the nominees and winners represent, in addition to The V Foundation.
ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas will introduce the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE (ESPN + inspire) Awards in honor of his former colleague. Bilas plans to offer a message that highlights Scott’s values of determination, character, sportsmanship and inclusion, and will share his thoughts of how “When you inspire, you are a force that makes someone want to do something.”
Recognized tonight with the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Awards will be Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, the “Like A Girl” campaign, Bud and Sue Selig and the You Can Play Project. The award (pictured above) features Scott’s famous catchphrase, “Boo-Yah,” at the base of each trophy.