ESPY stands for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly. The awards show, which was previously presented on the ESPN, has moved to the ABC Network last year, and recognizes individual and team achievements and performances. Last year, Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and vowed to “reshape the landscape” and “urged acceptance for others who are transgender”.
The first ESPY Awards were in 1993. That year, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award went to college basketball player, coach, and broadcaster Jim Valvano. Prior to 2004, the winners were chosen by fans, after which time executives, sportswriters, and broadcasters had a say in the voting. Similar to the Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars, they are typically hosted by a contemporary celebrity, and this year, former WWE star, John Cena, will be leading the festivities.
Fortunately, the awards show also has a charitable role in society– a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales go to the V Foundation, a charity established by the aforementioned Jim Valvano (college basketball coach and tv commentator) to promote cancer research. Valvano announced the creation of the V Foundatin during his acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Award. He died 55 days after delivering the speech, from metastatic adenocarcinoma.
A variety of celebrities have hosted the ceremony in the past, including Samuel L. Jackson, comedian Dennis Miller, Jamie Foxx, and Seth Meyers. The first seven years of the awards show took place in New York City at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. They then moved to Las Vegas, and subsequently the Kodak Theater. Today, the ESPY Awards are held in the Microsoft Theater.