ESPN reveals special honorees for ‘The 2023 ESPYS,’ airing July 12 at 8 p.m. on ABC
√ US Women’s National Soccer Team to receive Arthur Ashe Award for Courage
√ Chicago White Sox pitcher Liam Hendriks to receive Jimmy V Award for Perseverance
During “The 2023 ESPYS,” ESPN will honor athletes and leaders in sports for their courage, perseverance and service with three special accolades. The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) will receive the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage; Liam Hendriks will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance; and the Buffalo Bills training staff will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service.
“The 2023 ESPYS” will air live July 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for its resilient fight for equal pay off the field. The award is given to a deserving member or group in the sporting world who makes a difference far beyond the field of play, impacting the world in indelible ways. The USWNT players are longtime advocates of equality and, in March 2019, they began a legal battle with U.S. Soccer for equal pay with the U.S Men’s National Soccer Team. In 2022, the team reached a historic agreement that officially split men’s and women’s pay 50/50 and ultimately set a new global standard in sports and had a ripple effect outside of the sports world. Since then, the USWNT has continued to leverage their platform to raise awareness around pay inequity and social injustices in the U.S.
Past recipients of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage include Muhammad Ali (1997), Billie Jean King (1999), former President Nelson Mandela (2009), Caitlyn Jenner (2015), Bill Russell (2019) and Vitali Klitschko (2022).
Chicago White Sox pitcher and cancer survivor Liam Hendriks will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, a symbol of his strength and resilience in his fight against non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In Hendriks’ first game back on the mound this May, he threw 16 strikes against the Los Angeles Angels, bringing the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation as he walked back to the dugout. Battling cancer since late last year, Hendriks’ returned to the mound within six months and donated $100,000 to cancer research in the process.
Past recipients of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance include Dick Vitale (2022), Chris Nikic (2021), Craig Sager (2016) and Stuart Scott (2014).
After Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the field shook the world last January, the Buffalo Bills training staff exemplified mental toughness and immediately performed lifesaving measures. In recognition of its commitment to every member of the team, the Bills training staff will be awarded the Pat Tillman Award for Service presented by MassMutual, an award given to a group with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes the legacy of former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger Pat Tillman.
Past recipients of the Pat Tillman Award for Service include Gretchen Evans (2022), Kim Clavel (2020) and Jake Wood (2019).
“The ESPYS” helps raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the charity founded by ESPN and the late basketball coach Jim Valvano at the first “ESPYS” in 1993. ESPN has helped raise more than $195 million for the V Foundation over the past 30 years. “The ESPYS” are co-produced by ESPN and Full Day Productions.
More About The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented each year to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. Past honorees include: Jim Valvano (1993); Steve Palermo (1994); Howard Cosell (1995); Loretta Claiborne (1996); Muhammad Ali (1997); Dean Smith (1998); Billie Jean King (1999); Dave Sanders (2000); Olympian Cathy Freeman (2001); Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, four passengers who lost their lives Sept. 11 on United Flight 93 (2002); Pat and Kevin Tillman (2003); Liberian-born soccer legend George Weah (2004); disabled athletes Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Jim MacLaren (2005); Afghan female athletes (2006); Trevor Ringland and Dave Cullen for their work with PeacePlayers (2007); U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos (2008); former president Nelson Mandela (2009); the Thomas family of Parkersburg, Iowa (2010); boxer Dewey Bozella (2011); women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt (2012); Robin Roberts (2013); Michael Sam (2014); Caitlyn Jenner (2015); Zaevion Dobson (2016); Eunice Kennedy Shriver (2017); “Sister Survivors” (2018); Bill Russell (2019); Kevin Love (2020); Maya Moore (2021); and Vitali Klitschko (2022).
More About the V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The V Foundation has funded over $310 million in game-changing cancer research grants nationwide through a competitive process strictly supervised by a world-class scientific advisory committee. Because the V Foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, 100% of direct donations are awarded to cancer research and programs. The V team is committed to accelerating “Victory Over Cancer.” To learn more, visit v.org.
More About The Pat Tillman Foundation
The Pat Tillman Foundation identifies remarkable veterans and military spouses as the next generation of leaders, and helps them scale their impact as they enter their next chapter of service beyond self through academic scholarships, lifelong leadership development, and a global community of peers and supporters. For more information on the Pat Tillman Foundation and the impact of the Tillman Scholars, visit pattillmanfoundation.org.