In recent months, hundreds of athletes have spoken in court about the extensive abuse suffered at the hands of the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor, who was trusted and supported for decades. The strength and resolve these individuals have shown in speaking out has brought the darkness of sexual abuse into the light and inspired many others to speak up about their own experiences. In recognition of their undisputed bravery, they will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award when The 2018 ESPYS air live Wednesday, July 18, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
“We are honored to recognize the courage of these women at The 2018 ESPYS, to acknowledge the power of their voices, and to shine a very well-deserved spotlight on what speaking up, fighting back, and demanding accountability can accomplish,” said Alison Overholt, Vice President and Editor in Chief, ESPN The Magazine, espnW, and The ESPYS. “They have shown us all what it truly means to speak truth to power, and through their bravery, they are making change for future generations. By honoring this group who spoke out, we aim to honor all of those who are survivors of abuse.”
“For 25 years, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage has been given to those who change the world in important ways, and the future will undoubtedly be different because of the actions of these heroic women,” said Maura Mandt, executive producer, The ESPYS. “This tribute will reflect the awe and admiration these individuals deserve.”
The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the annual ESPYS has become one of the most prominent, prestigious, and talked-about honors in sports. Having recognized global icons like Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela, little-known heroes like Zaevion Dobson and Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, sports legends like Pat Summitt and Billie Jean King, and many more, the award pays tribute to those who find ways through sports to make a difference far beyond the field of play and impact the world in indelible ways.
About The ESPYS
The ESPYS gather 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 2018 ESPYS will recognize achievements in categories such as “Best MLB Player,” “Best Team,” “Best Female Athlete” and “Best Upset.” Inspiring human stories are showcased through three pillar awards – the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, the Jimmy V Perseverance Award and the Pat Tillman Award for Service. The ESPYS support ESPN’s ongoing commitment to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, launched by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano in 1993.
Jay Jay Nesheim: 646-547-5839, [email protected]
Jennifer Cingari Christie: 646-547-5840, [email protected]