The third annual Sports Humanitarian Awards, sponsored by ESPN and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, will celebrate and honor leagues, teams, individuals and members of the sporting community that are using the power of sport to inspire social good. The sports industry-wide event will be held on Tuesday, July 11 at L.A. LIVE’s The Novo, which for the first time serves as the venue sponsor for the event.
To honor the legacy of Muhammad Ali’s impact on society, the Sports Humanitarian Award, which is given to an athlete whose continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a measured, positive impact on their community through sports, will be renamed the “Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.”
Just like Ali, the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award recipient must embrace common moral decencies including integrity, justice, honesty, truthfulness and responsibility. He or she must have impacted the lives of those in need through selflessness, courageousness and compassion.
During the evening, winners will be announced from five award categories, including:
- The Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award
- The Sports Humanitarian Team Award
- The Corporate Community Impact Award
- The League Humanitarian Leadership Award
- The Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award
“There was perhaps no greater humanitarian in sports than Muhammad Ali — he was an ambassador for peace and inspired people around the world,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “We’re thrilled to work with the Ali family and the Muhammad Ali Center to celebrate his legacy and to recognize the next generation of athletes that are striving to follow in his footsteps.”
“It’s an honor to collaborate with ESPN to establish the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award,” said Lonnie Ali. “Having an award in Muhammad’s name honoring active athletes helps shine a light on what he valued so deeply – using opportunities and platforms, connecting sports with society, and advancing important causes for humanity.”
Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Laila Ali, will return as host for the event, alongside ESPN co-host Mike Greenberg. Highlights of the evening will be showcased during a one-hour program (increased from the 30-minutes last year) on ESPN, July 25, at 7 p.m. ET.
ESPN will grant a total of $100,000 to the charities of the winners and $25,000 for each of the finalists. Additionally, the net proceeds of the event will once again benefit the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at the V Foundation. Last year, a total of $785,000 was raised for the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, which along with ESPN’s contributions in recognition of the honorees, resulted in a total of $1.7 million distributed to the community.
In support of the V Foundation, Bristol Myers-Squibb will serve alongside ESPN as the presenting sponsor of the Sports Humanitarian Awards.
“Creating positive change in our communities and enriching the lives of others are at the heart of the Sports Humanitarian Awards, which are also core values we embrace at Bristol-Myers Squibb,” said Murdo Gordon, chief commercial officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are proud to join ESPN in this meaningful initiative to honor the most inspiring figures today from the world of sports.”
Finalists for the Awards will be announced in June.
About ESPN Corporate Citizenship
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplifts the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use power of sport to positively address society’s needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship.
About Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is one of the most recognizable and influential sports figures of all time. His countless awards and accolades include being named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Century,” GQ’s “Athlete of the Century,” and being the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freeman and the Amnesty International Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to his groundbreaking achievements as an athlete, Muhammad Ali was a global citizen who dedicated much of his life to helping those in need. He facilitated the delivery of medical supplies to an embargoed Cuba, provided more than 22 million meals to the world’s hungry and helped secure the release of fifteen U.S. hostages from Iraq during the first Gulf War.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.