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Athletes celebrated for community work at Sports Humanitarian ceremony


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Los Angeles, CA — The fourth annual Sports Humanitarian Awards was presented by ESPN and sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company on Tuesday, July 17th at The Novo in Los Angeles, California.  This year marked the second consecutive year at this location which was an event that highlighted professionals within the sports industry who use their stardom platforms to make a positive difference around the world.

The highlights of the Humanitarian Awards were broadcasted in a one-hour program on ESPN July 24 to announce winners of three awards. However, on the 17th, three winners were announced as the League Humanitarian Leadership Award went home to the WWE as Roman Reigns accepted the award on behalf of the organization, and the Stuart Scott Enspire Award was announced as well.

This year, NBA legend David Robinson, a former player of the San Antonio Spurs, and U.S. Department of State Global Sports Mentoring Program, were both honored for the prestigious award honoring the late-broadcaster, Scott.

Other nominees included these awards & finalists as well:

  • Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award finalists: Doug Baldwin (NFL’s Seattle Seahawks), John Cena (WWE), Kevin Durant (NBA’s Golden State Warriors) and J.J. Watt (NFL’s Houston Texans)
  • Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year finalists: Anaheim Ducks (NHL), Boston Red Sox (MLB), Chicago Fire Soccer Club (MLS) and the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team
  • Corporate Community Impact Award finalists: Hospital for Special Surgery, Under Armour, UNIQLO and Voya Financial

While every finalist would have been a great pick, there could only be one winner for each award, who were announced on July 24. Kevin Durant received the Muhammad Ali Award, the Team of the Year was the U.S Women’s National Hockey Team, and the UNIQLO was honored with the Corporate Community Impact award.

As an attendee of the red carpet, I had the honor of seeing some of our most popular athletes.  This included Laila Ali, of which was a personal exciting experience for me because of the avenue she’s paved for female athletes. It isn’t common for people to get a photograph with her so I took the opportunity upon myself to get that done.  Check.

It was a surreal moment I’ll never forget.

The only downfall to any venue downtown is the parking situation.  Knowing that you may also get stuck in traffic is another reality in downtown LA.  Once you are passed those two obstacles, getting inside the location wasn’t difficult to find.  There were different placards of media outlets with names typed on them to keep everything organized.

Upon finding my own name inside, I was shocked to see that I was right next to TMZ — until I realized that they weren’t attending the event, which was a break.  I was placed next to other reporters behind the scenes of the ceremony, but luckily another Ball Out reporter was there covering interviews with her cameraman.  We didn’t hesitate to show you clips of Hannah Storm and WWE legend Stephanie McMahon speaking about women’s overcoming obstacles and dealing with adversity.

But just in case you missed it, here’s another look and listen.


As amazing and put together as the event was, I was able to take in another angle of the award show people don’t see at home: the detailed work behind the camera. The labor behind the lens was more precise than I had known before and this event was the perfect experience to see what goes into getting the correct angles for a high-level show and making sure people are where they need to be at the right moment.

The fun fact of the night was that the red carpet was actually not even red!  I very discretely remember hearing a few complain about that fact. But nonetheless, the event was great to be around individuals from circles that include the WNBA, NBA, WWE, NFL and other corporations and teams enjoying a night focused on giving back.

The net proceeds of the event will again be received by the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at the V Foundation. Last year, more than $2 million was donated to the community on behalf of the Sports Humanitarian Awards.

These athletes do their best to create change in something they feel passionate about and I was happy to be in the same location as some of these faces who don’t receive enough credit for the change they make.  Personally, I think that little by little the spotlight for these people will become brighter and their voices heard more clearly in the near future.

What A NIGHT!! Laila Ali, Daniel Cormier, Stephanie McMahon – WWE and so many STARS!

Posted by The Ball Out on Tuesday, 17 July 2018


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