The Undefeated, ESPN’s content platform covering the intersections of sports, race and culture, has published a powerful collection of portraits in advance of The 2019 ESPYS presented by Capital One (8 p.m. ET, ABC).
Eight of the nine portraits on the digital platform feature past ESPY winners – Mia Hamm, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Phelps, Albert Pujols, Sheryl Swoopes, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Major League Baseball all-star Mike Trout is the only athlete nominated this year on the platform. Each portrait is accompanied by an essay authored by one of The Undefeated writers – Lonnae O’Neal, Soraya Nadia McDonald, Justin Tinsley and Jesse Washington.
The project, designed to expand in future years, will serve as a historical collection encompassing future winners.
Also related to the project, The Undefeated has unveiled a new set of portraits featuring tonight’s ESPYS honorees and presenters, including NBA legend Bill Russell (Arthur Ashe Award for Courage recipient) and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (Best Male Athlete and Best NFL Player nominee).
The pictures adorn The Undefeated ESPYS Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Los Angeles – the epicenter for the digital platform’s ESPYS Awards coverage – and will be on display through the conclusion of the award ceremony.
A conversation between ESPYS executive director Maura Mandt and Kevin Merida, the editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, led to the creation of The ESPY Collection. Above, Merida mounts the Patrick Mahomes portrait before its unveiling in Los Angeles.
Rick Chapman photographed the portraits of the past ESPYS winners. Randall Slavin photographed the portraits of the new honorees. Above, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes poses with his portrait at the unveiling in Los Angeles.
Olympic champion Chloe Kim, nominated for Best Action Sports Female Athlete, admires her portrait at The Undefeated’s unveiling in Los Angeles.