As the sports world deals with the novel coronavirus, ESPN will modify the 2020 ESPYs so that they can take place in a virtual setting.
The ESPYs will be taking on a new approach this summer, as the 2020 rendition of ESPN’s sports award show will be hosted remotely by three of the more influential athletes of the past decade per the Associated Press.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, and 11-time WNBA All-Star Sue Bird will mainly celebrate acts of heroism during these trying times from the comfort of their homes as opposed to solely commemorating the top figures in sports per typical at ESPY shows.
“We liked the idea of having athletes from diverse sports that represent something for every fan,” show producer Jeff Smith said by phone. “We’re finding ways to make this feel really connected to the audience. They’re so ready to reach out to this community.”
The ESPY Awards is the latest live event to change course due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The WNBA and NFL drafts operated remotely, creating a precedent for how these formal settings can be modeled virtually.
Sports have the undeniable ability to bring people closer together and inspire perseverance over adversity. Without that buffer for the past three months, beacons of hope have been limited to the perseverance of those battling the virus on the front line.
From the confines of their Seattle residences, Wilson, Bird, and Rapinoe will honor the brave men and women fighting against the coronavirus, hoping to spark a sense of solidarity through their sports platform
The award show will be broadcasted on ESPN on June 21 at 9 p.m. ET.