The ESPYS Celebrate 25 Years of Athletic Accolades and Inspirational Honorees with Star-Studded Evening Hosted by Peyton Manning


The ESPYS Celebrate 25 Years of Athletic Accolades and Inspirational Honorees with Star-Studded Evening Hosted by Peyton Manning

ESPYS Photo Gallery:

Kevin Durant, Simone Biles, Dak Prescott and Chicago Cubs Among the Night’s Big Winners at The 25th ESPYS

On Wednesday evening, the biggest stars from sports and entertainment converged at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate the year’s best moments in sports at The 25th ESPYS Presented by Capital One. The show was hosted by five-time NFL MVP and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning and aired live on ABC.

The evening’s first award went to NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, who was named Best Breakthrough Athlete. He topped stiff competition from the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, U.S. Women’s Gymnastics’ Laurie Hernandez, and U.S. Soccer star Christian Pulisic. Russell Westbrook collected the ESPY for Best Male Athlete, extending the NBA’s streak of 6-straight wins in that category. Simone Biles took home two awards, winning Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete and Best Female Athlete, after losing the same category to Breanna Stewart last year. Kevin Durant took home his fourth ESPY, winning this year’s Best Championship Performance for his work leading the Golden State Warriors to an NBA title. Durant’s ever-supportive mother Wanda, aka ‘Mama Durant,’ was by her son’s side as he accepted the honor. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, took home his third and fourth ESPY for Best Record-Breaking Performance and Best U.S. Male Olympic Athlete.

While The ESPYS celebrate athletic accomplishments throughout the year, the show also highlights amazing individuals in the world of sports who have demonstrated admirable perseverance, courage and strength in the face of adversity. The evening’s three marquis awards are the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Pat Tillman Award for Service. Former First Lady Michelle Obama brought the Microsoft Theater to their feet as she walked onstage to honor Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for her work in founding the Special Olympics. Shriver’s son Timothy, who serves as Chairman of Special Olympics, graciously accepted the honor on her behalf. The Jimmy V Award was presented to New Orleans Saints superfan Jarrius “JJ” Robertson, who has battled a rare and chronic liver disease throughout his entire life. Last year’s ESPYS host and WWE superstar John Cena introduced the young man, and praised his unwavering positivity in the face of adversity. And former host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart, presented Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro with the Pat Tillman Award for Service.

This year’s Icon Award was presented by Bryan Cranston to legendary sports announcer Vin Scully, who retired from his post with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year after a record-breaking 67-years with the organization.

In celebration of the impressive quarter century milestone, The ESPYS paid homage to its legacy and highlighted various memorable sports moments with a retrospective video montage. Grammy-nominated R&B singer Gallant performed during the in-memoriam segment.

This year’s presenters included: Chris Berman (ESPN), Dove Cameron (Descendants 2), John Cena (WWE), Bryan Cranston (Actor), Eddie George (Heisman Trophy Winner), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hitman’s Bodyguard), DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clipper), Bill Murray (Actor), Nick Offerman (Actor), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Elizabeth Olsen (Wind River), Candance Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), Danica Patrick (Stock Car Racing Driver), Issa Rae (Insecure), Jeremy Renner (Wind River), Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks), Jon Stewart (Former Host of The Daily Show), Lindsey Vonn (Olympic skier), Abby Wambach (Soccer Olympian), Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks), among others.

In addition, top athletes and celebrities who attended the show included: Danny Amendola (New England Patriots), Lance Bass, Nikki Bella (WWE), Katie Couric, Olivia Culpo, Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Snoop Dogg (Rapper), Julian Edelman (New England Patriots), Prince Fielder (Texas Rangers), Laurie Hernandez (Olympic gymnast), Kerri Walsh Jennings (Women’s Beach Volleyball), Gus Kenworthy (Olympic Freestyle Skier), Rachel Lindsay (The Bachelorette), Nastia Liukin (Olympic gymnast), Josh Norman (Washington Redskins), Aly Raisman (Olympic Gymnast), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers), David Ross (Chicago Cubs), Maria Shriver (Daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver), P.K. Subban (Nashville Predators), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), and Shaun White (Snowboarding Olympian), among others.


Best Breakthrough Athlete: Dak Prescott

Best Game: Patriots, Falcons Super Bowl

Best Coach: Bob Hurley, Sr.

Best Moment: Chicago Cubs

Best Championship Performance: Kevin Durant

Best Record-Breaking Performance: Michael Phelps

Best Play: Aaron Rodgers/Jared Cook

Best Female Athlete: Simone Biles

Best Male Athlete: Russell Westbrook

Best Team: Golden State Warriors

Best Upset: Mississippi State defeats U Conn

Best NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers

Best WNBA Player: Candace Parker

Best Male College Athlete: DeShaun Watson

Best Female College Athlete: Kelly Barnhill

Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Anna Gasser

Best Male US Olympic Athlete: Michael Phelps

Best Female US Olympic Athlete: Simone Biles

Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Steve Serio

Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Becca Meyers

Best Comeback Athlete: Jordy Nelson

Best International Athlete: Usain Bolt

Best NBA Player: LeBron James

Best MLB Player: Mike Trout

Best NHL Player: Sidney Crosby

Best Driver: Lewis Hamilton

Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Mark McMorris

Best Fighter: Demetrious Johnson

Best Male Golfer: Sergio Garcia

Best Female Golfer: Ariya Jutanugarn

Best Male Tennis Player: Roger Federer

Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams

Best MLS Player: David Villa

Best Jockey: John Velazquez

Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte


Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Jarrius Robertson

Arthur Ashe Award for Courage: Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Pat Tillman Award for Service: Israel Del Toro

Icon Award: Vin Scully


About The ESPYS

This year marks the 25th airing of The ESPYS which gathers top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2017 ESPYS will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” and best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other. The ESPYS support ESPN’s ongoing commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, launched by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano in 1993. More information can be found in the ESPYS media kit.




Jennifer Cingari Christie

Based in New York City, Jennifer Cingari Christie is a Communications Manager for ESPN Films and Original Content. Her projects include the critically-acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series, ESPN The Magazine and The ESPYS, among others.
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