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Clippings: The 2020 ESPYs will be reimagined with a humanitarian focus

The Los Angeles sports awards show will be broadcast virtually this year and highlight acts of heroism within the pandemic.

The 2011 ESPY Awards - Show Photo by John Shearer/WireImage

In a climate where every single live sporting event has been canceled, it might seem strange to keep the ESPYs going. But just because sports are temporarily paused, that doesn’t mean they can’t be celebrated.

The 2020 ESPYs will be broadcast virtually on June 21, 2020. In addition to the show’s traditional aim of recognizing the best in sports from the year before, the ESPYs will also highlight humanitarian acts of service, as outlined in the ESPN press release:

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.

The ESPYs are traditionally a fairly lighthearted affair, which doesn’t make a ton of sense given the current environment, so it was only sensible that ESPN would make a change. Hopefully, the broadcast retains the opening monologue, which is my favorite part of the show and a great way to bring a year’s worth of sports into focus within 15 minutes.

The Clippers were last nominated for an ESPY in 2015 in the Best Game category for Game 7 of the first-round series against the Spurs, but they lost to Super Bowl XLIX (Patriots vs. Seahawks). The team’s most recent ESPY win was in 2011 as Blake Griffin took home Best Breakthrough Athlete. The Clippers are regularly involved in show itself given their proximity to the event. DeAndre Jordan presented an award in 2017, and Griffin has taken part in sketches, a natural fit for his comedic talent.

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