GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-One of the most star-studded nights in sports, The ESPY’s, is returning live from New York City this Saturday, July 10 on ABC. The award show, which honors the year’s top athletes and sports highlights, is presented by Capital One and will feature an incredible line-up of presentations and commemorations.
Here’s an inside look at what’s in store:
Anthony Mackie to host 2021 ESPYS.
“The 2021 ESPYS Presented by Capital One” will be hosted by acclaimed actor and producer Anthony Mackie. Mackie will be joined by top celebrities from sports and entertainment to celebrate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, remembering unforgettable moments, and honoring the leading performers and performances.”- ABC.
“I’m excited to be hosting this year’s ESPYS and to celebrate the gift that sports have been this past year. They have allowed us to cheer on our favorite teams and athletes together at a time when many felt so alone. As an avid sports fan myself, I can’t wait to meet some of my favorite athletes and celebrate their accomplishments!”- Anthony Mackie
Marcus Rashford to receive Pat Tillman Award
During the 2021 ESPYS, ESPN will present the Pat Tillman Award for Service to England International Speaker Marcus Rashford. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Rashford raised millions of donations alongside food charity FareShare to support families in need. Rashford knows what it’s like to experience food poverty as he’s shared his experience of growing up as the youngest of five children, relying on free school meals and “the kind actions of neighbors and coaches.”
“An athlete is the least we can be. Sport can be the biggest driver of positive change, with its ability to truly unite. If I have achieved anything over the last year, I would hope that it would be to demonstrate to my peers what is possible when we are driven by a passion and determination for better. Better not for ourselves, but for those whose voices are very rarely heard. We have a platform to speak on behalf of millions. When we wake up in the morning, we decide what we want to do with that platform. The reward of helping just one will always outweigh the risk of any negativity or criticism thrown my way. I’m honored to be this year’s recipient of the Pat Tillman Award. A huge thank you to all involved.” – Marcus Rashford
ESPN to present the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance to Chris Nikic
The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance is awarded to a member of the sports world who has overcome great adversity through perseverance and dedication. Nikic will receive the award for becoming the first individual with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon at 21 years old.
“Wow, what an honor to receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and to be included with such an amazing group of people,” said Nikic. “As a Special Olympics ambassador, I represent millions of athletes around the world who can now believe that inclusion is real for all of them. Thank you for me, but more importantly for the Down syndrome community and my fellow Special Olympics athletes.”- Chris Nikic.
Maya Moore to be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award
“In 2019, after four WNBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, a WNBA MVP award, three All-Star MVPs and a scoring title at the very peak of her prime, Maya Moore decided to step away from the game to fight for justice for Jonathan Irons, a man who was wrongly convicted of burglary and assault and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Moore redirected her winning spirit to Irons’ cause, forming the Win with Justice campaign to educate the public on the power of prosecutors and organize for his freedom. After years of advocacy, Irons’ conviction was finally overturned last spring, and he was a free man by the summer. Irons was clear about Moore’s role in this victory: “She saved my life.” He was also clear about what she meant to him; hours after his release, he asked for her hand in marriage. They quietly tied the knot shortly thereafter.
In light of their happy ending, some may see Moore’s basketball leave as simply a romantic sacrifice. But that does a disservice to her nearly lifelong commitment to criminal justice reform. Moore has walked the walk of an athlete activist for years, investing herself deeply in the day-to-day struggle for justice. Winning Irons’ freedom was just the beginning. In recognition of her commitment to criminal justice reform, Moore will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award – on what would have been Ashe’s 78th birthday – during “The 2021 ESPYS,”- ABC.
“I’m so honored to be able to continue to share this powerful story with the world by receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award,” said Moore. “In the face of injustice, the courage to care about justice, human dignity and freedom is now able to be celebrated in this momentous way, and I’m so happy for Jonathan and all who helped contribute to this victory!”- Arthur Ashe.
Vote for your favorite ESPYS nominees:
ESPN has revealed the 2021 ESPYS nominees. Visit espn.com/espys to cast your votes.
Tune into the 2021 ESPYS presented by Capital One on Saturday, July 10 at 8 p.m. on My ABC WOTV4!