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“This is a time when we all need inspiration as we all seek change and compassion.”

Before the Sports Humanitarian Awards and ESPYS air in a combined presentation on Sunday, SportsCenter anchor and V Foundation advocate Hannah Storm reflects on the power of sports

Despite the different presentations of the 2020 Sports Humanitarian Awards and The 2020 ESPYS, some special features are planned this week and for the combined show Sunday, June 21 (9 p.m ET, ESPN

ESPN’s commitment to supporting the V Foundation for Cancer Research remains, along with the desire to celebrate those who are using their sports platforms to make positive impacts on the world. Front Row spoke with SportsCenter anchor and host Hannah Storm to hear about the changes for this year.

How are the 2020 Sports Humanitarian Awards changing this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Sports Humanitarian Awards celebrate those who use their sports platform to make a positive impact on the world. Typically held the night before The ESPYS, the show recognizes the role that sports play in society beyond the field of play. Given that we can’t have an in-person event this year, ESPN has turned the Sports Humanitarian Awards into a weeklong celebration of the power of sports, culminating with The 2020 ESPYS. Throughout the week, ESPN will tell stories of hope and change, highlighting how sports can affect individuals and our communities. During the show, three marquee awards will be showcased, including those named after two of the greatest humanitarians, Muhammad Ali and Billie Jean King.

Since its inception, the Sports Humanitarian Awards have benefited the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at the V Foundation. We are so incredibly grateful to Bristol Myers Squibb, who has donated over $1.55 million to the Stuart Scott Fund this year, to support minority researchers and investigators studying cancer disparities among minorities. This generous donation, along with the support of all of our corporate and league partners, will go a long way in helping the V Foundation to make advancements in the fight against cancer.

How can the power of sports help our country during these turbulent times?
Throughout the pandemic and the social outcry following the death of George Floyd, we’ve watched sports figures raise millions of dollars for relief and take a strong stand on racial injustice. This is a time when we all need inspiration as we all seek change and compassion.Throughout the week, we meet this year’s Sports Humanitarian honorees. Among other things, they are developing innovative programs to serve the needs of their communities and creating opportunities for youth to access sports.

Hannah Storm stands before a picture of herself embracing his father Mike Storen. (Hannah Storm)

Why are you personally devoted to the V Foundation?
I have been a part of The ESPYS and Sports Humanitarian Awards for years, and then my beloved father Mike Storen passed away last month at age 84 after a battle with a rare, unidentifiable form of cancer. While his accomplishments during his four-decade career in sports have been well-documented, I will always treasure his booming voice, hearty laugh, relentlessly positive nature, and creative, entrepreneurial spirit. He was devoted to encouraging people to follow their dreams, and he took a special interest in young people and their hopes for their lives. My family and I are so proud to contribute to opportunities for young researchers who will benefit from his memorial fund for V Scholars so that they can follow their dreams, and one day cancers like his will not only have a name but a cure.

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