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The 2020 ESPY Awards were quite different than prior years.
For starters, the entire broadcast was virtual — no red carpet or show from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles — due to the coronavirus pandemic. That also moved up the show’s airing several weeks, rather than going in the typical MLB All-Star break dead spot the ESPYS typically occupies.
Individual and team awards linked to on-field performance were not specifically handed out as usual, almost certainly a decision made because so many seasons have been left incomplete. Instead, top players and moments from the past year in sports were recognized en masse, and focus was placed more on the inspirational and the change-makers in our games.
Here’s a rundown of all the notable moments from the broadcast, as well as the winners of the ESPYS’ humanitarian and service awards:
The broadcast, hosted by Russell Wilson, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, began with a powerful message about race and equality and the power of sports to create change:
Tom Brady and Robin Roberts honored high school and college seniors who did not get a normal senior send-off:
The Pat Tillman Award for Service: Kim Clavel
Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year: Los Angeles Dodgers
Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award: Joel Apudo, Batouly Camara, Ally Friedman, Javonn Islar, Elijah Murphy, Chelsea Quito and Niah Woods
A powerful segment introduced by NFL defensive back Malcolm Jenkins discussed the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many other Black Americans killed unjustly, and featured many sports stars calling for racial equality and needed change, now, in the United States:
Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award: Nelson Cruz
The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Taquarius Wair
Pau Gasol honored late Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant and introduced Snoop Dogg’s tribute to the Black Mamba.
The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage:Kevin Love
Corporate Community Impact Award: Burton Snowboards
Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award: The Hilinski Family
Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award: WNBA & WNBPA
Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award: Maryam Shojaei
Sports Philanthropist of the Year Award: Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
League Humanitarian of the Year Award: National Football League
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