Sexual assault survivors who spoke out against former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor Larry Nassar will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award this year's ESPY, ESPN announced.
The award show will take place July 18 and televised on ABC.
“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 Alison Overholt, Vice President and Editor in Chief, 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. By honoring this group who spoke out, we aim to honor all of those who are survivors of abuse.”
Nearly 200 girls and women accused Nassar of assaulting them and gave victim impact statements during Nassar's three sentencing hearings. Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas have said that Nassar abused them for years.
The scandal had an impact on USA Gymnastics, as the entire board of directors resigned and the organization cut ties with the famed Karolyi Ranch in Texas, a site where some of the gymnasts say Nassar assaulted them.
USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny resigned under pressure and Scott Blackmun, the chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, also stepped down.
Nassar was later sentenced up to 175 years on Michigan state charges of sexual assault, to go along with a sentence of 40 to 125 years in prison on three counts of sexual assault with another 60–year sentence on federal child pornography charges.
Past winners of the Ashe Courage Award include Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, and last year's recipient Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.