The NBA, San Francisco Giants, and Bank of America are Among the Big Winners at the Second Annual Sports Humanitarian Awards

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The NBA, San Francisco Giants, and Bank of America are Among the Big Winners at the Second Annual Sports Humanitarian Awards

More than $1.4 Distributed to the Community as a Result of the Initiative

 Chris Paul takes home the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award; San Francisco Giants win for Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award; Bank of America wins Corporate Community Impact Award and the NBA wins the League Humanitarian Leadership Award.

The leagues, teams, individuals and members of the sporting community met in Los Angeles at The Conga Room at L.A. LIVE Tuesday, July 12, to celebrate those who have used the power of sports to make a positive impact on society at the 2016 Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards, hosted by Laila Ali.

Chris Paul was honored with the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award, recognized as an athlete whose continuous demonstrated leadership has created a positive impact on their community through sports. Through the Chris Paul Family Foundation, Chris has leveled the playing field in education, sports and community. He has helped open a newly refurbished Boys & Girls Club in the L.A. neighborhood of Watts — part of a $1 million commitment his Foundation has made to made to Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.

The Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year went to the San Francisco Giants. Through the team’s Junior Giants program, they have been helping put an end to the cycle of violence in impoverished areas around the region. The program is designed to build life skills using the power of sports, and a parent survey found that 76% of participants were engaged in more physical activity, 64% read more, 89% said their confidence was improved, and 86% knew what to say or do about bullying.

The winner of the new Corporate Community Impact Award was given to Bank of America. Bank of America used the power of sports to help change the hearts and minds of people across the country by starting a nationwide movement for inclusion and respect for all people. Working with the Special Olympics, they staged the first-ever Unified Relay Across America (URAA) in 2015 — organizing more than 10,000 participants to bring the torch through all 50 states to start the Special Olympics World Games.. As a result of the Relay and Games, many more U.S. households identified as knowing a non-immediate family member, co-worker, neighbor or friend with intellectual disabilities (ID) from 24% pre-World Games to 31% post-World Games. Perceptions of the capabilities of people with ID saw similarly positive increases after the URAA and World Games.

The NBA was honored Tuesday with the first League Humanitarian Leadership Award for driving social impact.  In 2015, NBA Cares celebrated its 10th anniversary, and with the NBA All-Star Game in New York City, the league ambitiously engaged more than one million youth in basketball through 754 events across the five boroughs. This includes hosting an unprecedented 100 basketball clinics in just one day.

Three Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Awards, which recognizes’ individuals who have taken risks and used an innovative approach to help the disadvantaged through the power of sports, were presented to Billie Jean King, Robert Kraft and 2015 University of Missouri Football Team. Billie Jean King has taken risks throughout her career to champion equal pay, opportunities for women and advocating Title IX, and she continues her quest for inclusion through the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. Robert Kraft is empowering small nonprofits across New England to make an even greater impact through an innovative and strategic philanthropic program. The 2015 University of Missouri Football Team showcased the incredible power the athlete has to inspire social change. They threatened to boycott their next game to help end a student hunger strike that was a response to race issues on campus.

The net proceeds from the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards benefited the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at The V Foundation. Additionally, ESPN will grant a collective total of $800,000 to the charities of the nominees and winners, double the amount awarded last year. In total, more than $1.4 million will be distributed to the community as a result of the initiative. In recognition of Muhammed Ali and to make sure his vision for his humanitarian efforts continue, ESPN is proud to make a $100,000 donation to the Muhammad Ali Center.

Another special moment related to the Awards ceremony was the opportunity to experience the “Breaking Barriers: Sports for Change” exhibit by the Center for Civil and Human Rights as part of the ESPYS Experience. The showcase, located on Microsoft Plaza, allows guests to view visual displays of athletes who have made an impact on the civil and human rights. The exhibit honors Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, among many others, with a display tapered to their success. The Breaking Barriers exhibit will start its tour from the ESPYS Experience and will travel around the U.S. for viewing.

Below is a complete list of award winners.

Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award:
Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers (2016)
Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever (2015)

Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award:
San Francisco Giants (2016)
Chicago Bulls (2015)

NEW Corporate Community Impact Award:
Bank of America (2016)

NEW League Humanitarian Leadership Award:
NBA (2016)

Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Awards:
Billie Jean King, Robert Kraft and the 2015 University of Missouri Football Team (2016)
Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll, “Like a Girl” Campaign by Always, MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud and his wife Sue Selig, and the You Can Play Project (2015)


ESPN Contact: Josh Krulewitz at (860) 766-2319; [email protected]; @jksports
Belen Michelis at (860) 766-1425; [email protected] @belen_espn




Belen Michelis

Belen Michelis is a senior publicist focusing on ESPN Corporate Citizenship, Spelling Bee, Invictus Games, Warrior Games, ESPN local radio (98.7FM NY, ESPNLA 710, ESPN Chicago 1000), Misc. Sports and the WNBA. Prior to joining the ESPN Communications team, Michelis worked in Ad Sales for ESPN Deportes and International from 2010-2014. Michelis graduated from Boston College in 2010.
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