ESPN's ESPY Awards to honor Prince Harry, Dawn Staley, Steve Gleason with major awards


ABUJA, NIREGIA - MAY 11: Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Britain's Meghan (not seen), Duchess of Sussex, attend an exhibition sitting volleyball match at Nigeria Unconquered, a community-based charitable organization dedicated to aiding wounded, injured, or sick servicemembers, as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary in Abuja, Nigeria on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Emmanuel Osodi/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is being honored at the ESPYs with the Pat Tillman Award for Service for his work with the Invictus Games Foundation, which helps injured, wounded, and sick servicepeople around the world through sports. (Photo by Emmanuel Osodi/Anadolu via Getty Images)

July is just around the corner, which means it’s almost ESPYs time. ESPN’s fan-voted awards show honors current and former athletes who are making active contributions to the world of sports through their playing, coaching, and service. And when they air this year on July 11, we’ll be watching three important sports figures receive landmark ESPY awards.

ESPN announced Thursday that Prince Harry, South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley, and former NFL player and ALS activist Steve Gleason will be receiving the most important service awards they can give.

Immediately, one name sticks out. Prince Harry? That redheaded British royal who married a former actress and dramatically left his role in the royal family for a less-intense life in the United States? His connection to sports isn’t obvious, but through his past service in the British Armed Forces, he created a charity, the Invictus Games Foundation, to support wounded, injured, and sick servicepeople (both active duty and veterans) around the world. The Invictus Games Foundation uses sports to help those people navigate both physical and invisible injuries.

For his creation of and service to the Invictus Games Foundation, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service, an award given to a person with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes the legacy of the former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger, Pat Tillman.

The awards for Staley and Gleason are much more obvious, though no less important.

Staley and her team of Gamecock women just completed a perfect 38-0 season that concluded with them winning the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. She has advocated for diversity and gender equality in sports, as well as wider acceptance of women’s sports and women *in* sports. Off the court she has been a major supporter of cancer screening, especially in the Black community, ever since several people in her life were diagnosed with cancer. Staley will be receiving the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.

Gleason, a former NFL safety who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, is receiving the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for his brave fight against ALS and tireless advocacy for those stricken with the disease. Gleason has fought for continued research into the (currently) incurable condition, lobbied Congress to make vital communication devices available for ALS patients in the U.S., and through his nonprofit, Team Gleason, helps empower ALS patients to live purposeful lives by providing broad-reaching programming and support services.

Here are the full ESPY nominations. Voting is open until 5 p.m. ET on July 11.

Best athlete, men’s sports

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels/Dodgers
Scottie Scheffler, Golf
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Best athlete, women’s sports

Caitlin Clark, Iowa women’s basketball
Coco Gauff, Tennis
Nelly Korda, Golf
A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

Best breakthrough athlete

Haleigh Bryant, LSU gymnastics
C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans
Juju Watkins, USC women’s basketball
Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs

Best record-breaking performance

Haleigh Bryant, LSU gymnastics
C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans
Juju Watkins, USC women’s basketball
Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs

Best championship performance

Michigan’s Blake Corum and Will Johnson in football championship game
Boston College’s Kayla Martello, Most Outstanding Player in women’s lacrosse tournament
NJ/NY Gotham FC’s Midge Purce, MVP of NWSL championship
Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, NBA Finals MVP

Best comeback athlete

Simone Biles, Gymnastics
Paige Bueckers, UConn women’s basketball
Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans



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