ESPY Awards: Larry Nassar Sexual Abuse Survivors to Receive Arthur Ashe Courage Award
"This tribute will reflect the awe and admiration these individuals deserve," said Maura Mandt, executive producer of the ESPYs.
The hundreds of sexual abuse survivors who spoke out against former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor Larry Nassar are set to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at this year's ESPY Awards.
ESPN made the announcement Wednesday. "We are honored to recognize the courage of these women at the 2018 ESPYS, to acknowledge the power of their voices, and to shine a very well-deserved spotlight on what speaking up, fighting back and demanding accountability can accomplish," said Alison Overholt, vice president and editor in chief of ESPN The Magazine, espnW and the ESPYS.
She continued, "They have shown us all what it truly means to speak truth to power, and through their bravery, they are making change for future generations. By honoring this group who spoke out, we aim to honor all of those who are survivors of abuse."
Many of the athletes — collectively known as the "sister survivors" — spoke at Nassar's sentencing hearings earlier this year, where the disgraced doctor was eventually given 40 to 175 years in prison on multiple counts of sexual assault.
Among those who accused Nassar of abuse are Olympic gold medalists Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.
"For 25 years, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage has been given to those who change the world in important ways, and the future will undoubtedly be different because of the actions of these heroic women," said Maura Mandt, executive producer of the ESPYS. "This tribute will reflect the awe and admiration these individuals deserve."
Previous recipients of the award — which is named after the tennis legend — include,Muhammad Ali; Billie Jean King; Nelson Mandela; and last year's honoree, Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.