The hundreds of women who blew the whistle on the sexual abuse they suffered while competing and training for USA Gymnastics and the Michigan State gymnastics program will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at "The ESPYS," ESPN announced Wednesday.
"We are honored to recognize the courage of these women at 'The 2018 ESPYS,' to acknowledge the power of their voices, and to shine a very well-deserved spotlight on what speaking up, fighting back, and demanding accountability can accomplish," said ESPN's Alison Overholt, vice president and editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine, espnW, and "The ESPYS."
"They have shown us all what it truly means to speak truth to power, and through their bravery, they are making change for future generations," Overholt continued. "By honoring this group who spoke out, we aim to honor all of those who are survivors of abuse."
Previous recipients of the award who used their platforms in sport to advocate for greater change include Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos, and former South African President Nelson Mandela.
The announcement came shortly after news broke that Michigan State agreed in principle to a $500-million settlement with 332 athletes who suffered sexual abuse from disgraced former team doctor Larry Nassar. The settlement didn't cover concurrent lawsuits filed against USA Gymnastics, which also employed Nassar as a team doctor.