As the world forges ahead with a new normal, so will the 2020 ESPYS.
Since its debut show in 1993, the ESPY Awards have always had a host. This year, that tradition will continue with a twist as there will be not one, but three sports stars running the show: Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird, OL Reign winger Megan Rapinoe and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
While the coronavirus pandemic has caused unforeseen challenges to beloved awards shows, just as the athletes they celebrate, the ESPYS is facing those obstacles head on, "shifting its focus from outstanding athletic achievement to further highlight narratives of service, perseverance, and courage within the world of sports," according to a press release, while adapting to a new socially distant logistical playbook.
"There is so much good being done in the world right now, and The ESPYS are recognizing a sports community whose achievements reach far beyond the court," Bird said in a statement. "I'm proud to be hosting this year's unique show with Megan and Russell, two athletes I admire for their talent, but more importantly, their compassion in today's world."
"The stories we see at The ESPYS each year serve as a reminder of the hope that sports can inspire," Rapinoe said. "I'm looking forward to hosting the show alongside Sue and Russell, and bringing that much needed hope to audiences this year."
Wilson added, "Although the sports world is on a pause, Megan, Sue, and I hope to shine a light on some of the amazing stories of resilience that we are seeing through this unique time."
According to the press release, the remote show will include the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award and the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award among others.
"The ESPYS always have the distinct pleasure of recognizing moments of inspiration, but this year they serve the added purpose of creating a collective experience for fans and players alike who miss live sports," Rob King, Senior Vice President and Editor-At-Large ESPN Content, said in a statement. "Part of the fun of The ESPYS is bringing together athletes from across a spectrum of sports and Sue, Megan and Russell represent a diverse lineup of teams. We're excited to see them bring their passion to hosting the show."
To see it all unfold, make sure to tune in to ESPN on June 21 at 9 p.m. ET.