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2020 ESPYs to air with a shifted humanitarian focus

Sports are on the sidelines, so the ESPYs will spotlight acts of heroism and humanitarian aid around the world

The 2017 ESPYS - Backstage And Audience Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Nearly all sports are on hold due to the coronavirus, but the celebration of them is not.

On Tuesday, ESPN announced that their annual award show, the ESPYs, will still happen this year, on June 21 (remotely and pre-produced). Since live events were cut short, the show will shift away from recognizing the athletic accomplishments of the year, and instead celebrate humanitarian impact.

Here’s the press release from ESPN:

Inspired by the extraordinary acts of heroism and humanitarian aid happening around the world, The 2020 ESPYS will shift its customary focus from outstanding athletic achievement in order to further highlight narratives of service, perseverance, and courage from within the world of sports. ESPN will celebrate the year in sports with The 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capital One airing June 21 on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.

Details of the show continue to evolve with production underway, but the two-hour produced program will underscore sport’s continued role in bringing us together, encouraging resilience, providing joy, and inspiring hope. The 2020 ESPYS will preserve several core elements of the annual show, including the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Pat Tillman Award for Service, and the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. Additionally, the show will include the Sports Humanitarian Awards, sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb, with several key awards including the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award and the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award, among others.

Due to safety concerns surrounding any large gatherings, ESPN has cancelled the live events for The 2020 ESPYS and the sixth annual Sports Humanitarian Awards. Additional information regarding The 2020 ESPYS will be announced at a later date.

It will certainly be sad to lose what we’ve come to love about the ESPYs, but this is the best we could hope for, under the circumstances.

The Golden State Warriors are no strangers to the ESPYs. In 2017, they won the award for “Best Team,” while Kevin Durant took home honors for “Best Championship Performance.”

In 2016, Steph Curry won the award for “Best Record-Breaking Performance,” for setting the single-season NBA three-point record, and technically the Warriors also won “Best Game” for their Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, though I’m guessing they weren’t in love with “winning” that award.

In 2015, Curry won “Best NBA Player” and “Best Male Athlete,” while Steve Kerr took home the award for “Best Coach/Manager.”

Safe to say they weren’t in line to win any ESPYs this year anyway!