ESPYS can’t cover the top sports moments, so it settles for heroism

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Posted on: May 6, 2020 7:35 pm EDT

ESPN’s awards show will highlight some of the sports-based honors that have been distributed

ESPN’s annual awards show will be running differently this year. The ESPYS are giving a 180-degree turn from the usual focus on sports amid the coronavirus pandemic that has most live sports halted. This year, the ceremony will change from praising athletic accomplishments to celebrating acts of heroism, as well as humanitarian aid during this pandemic.

As per ESPN’s announcement on Tuesday, this year’s ESPYS ceremony will be pushed ahead one month, and will take place on June 21. The show has a two-hour duration, but further details are being worked on. The cable network did confirm that it will not be a live event and has been silent on who will be the emcee. Last year’s ceremony was hosted by comedian Tracy Morgan in Los Angeles.

This year’s ESPYS telecast will include two awards that are normally given out a night before the official ceremony: the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award and the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award. Other awards that will be given out during this evening are the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Pat Tillman Award for Service and the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance will be featured.

According to ESPN, this year’s show 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.” As per recommendations from the health authorities, as well as general concerns about having large crowds together, ESPN canceled all live events that typically surround this show. The sixth annual Sports Humanitarian Awards was canceled, too.