The City of Seattle has always been a hub for entrepreneurship and activism. This year’s annual ESPYS Awards were virtual and hosted by Russell Wilson, Sue Bird, and Megan Rapinoe all Seattle athletes. The Seahawks quarterback, OL Reign Midfielder, and Storm Point guard kicked off Sundays show on ESPN with an inspiring video calling for change.
The show’s focus has always been about perseverance, spirit, and dedication in difficult times. Sunday’s winners embodied those traits. Minnesota Twins outfielder Nelson Cruz received the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award in a videotaped piece by Laila Ali the former Champions daughter. Cruz won the award for building a police station, a medical clinic, and the acquisition of a fire truck and gear in his home town of Las Matas de Santa Cruz in the Dominican Republic.
Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin handed out the Jimmy V award for perseverance to Taquarius “TQ” Wair, who as a 4-year-old survived a house fire in 2005 that killed his 6-year- sister. After sustaining burns all over his body Wair was given a 205 chance to live. Despite losing fingers on his left hand Wair, is playing football at a junior college in Minnesota, with the goal of playing at a four-school then the NFL.
The complete nominees and winners list.
Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award
WINNER: Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Devin and Jason McCourty, New England Patriots
Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx
Titus O’Neil, WWE
Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year
WINNER: Los Angeles Dodgers
New York City FC
Corporate Community Impact Award