The hundreds of athletes that have spoken in court about the extensive abuse suffered at the hands of the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor 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.

What They Are Saying:

  • Alison Overholt, Vice President and Editor in Chief, ESPN The Magazine, espnW, and The ESPYS: “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. 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.”
  • Maura Mandt, executive producer, The ESPYS: “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. This tribute will reflect the awe and admiration these individuals deserve.”

Past Arthur Ashe Award for Courage Recipients:

  • 1993: Jim Valvano
  • 1994: Steve Palermo
  • 1995: Howard Cosell
  • 1996: Loretta Claiborne
  • 1997: Muhammad Ali
  • 1998: Dean Smith
  • 1999: Billie Jean King
  • 2000: William David Sanders
  • 2001: Cathy Freeman
  • 2002: Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett, Jeremy Glick
  • 2003: Pat Tillman, Kevin Tillman
  • 2004: George Weah
  • 2005: Emmanuel Ofosu, Yeboah, Jim MacLaren
  • 2006: Roia Ahmad, Shamila Kohestani
  • 2007: Trevor Ringland, David Cullen
  • 2008: Tommie Smith, John Carlos
  • 2009: Nelson Mandela
  • 2010: Ed Thomas
  • 2011: Dewey Bozella
  • 2012: Pat Summitt
  • 2013: Robin Roberts
  • 2014: Michael Sam
  • 2015: Caitlyn Jenner
  • 2016: Zaevion Dobson
  • 2017: Eunice Kennedy Shriver

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. T
  • The ESPYS support ESPN’s ongoing commitment to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, launched by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano in 1993.


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