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ESPN to honor Larry Nassar sexual abuse survivors with Arthur Ashe Courage Award

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ESPN will honor the hundreds of gymnasts who spoke out about sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

ESPN will honor the hundreds of athletes who spoke out about sexual abuse at the hands of their team doctor with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award this summer.

The large group of athletes, which includes Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and others, was treated by Larry Nassar at his Michigan State office over the past several decades. Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting women and girls under the guise of treatment and is currently serving prison sentences that will likely keep him locked up for life.

Many of his victims gave emotional impact statements about their experiences with Nassar during his sentencing hearing.

"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," ESPN's Alison Overholt said in a news release. "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."

For more than two decades, ESPN has presented the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage to a public figure, often in the sports world, who demonstrated "strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost."

Past recipients include Muhammad Ali, Robin Roberts, the Kabul girls' soccer team, Billie Jean King, Michael Sam and the Flight 93 passengers.

The ESPYS will air live Wednesday, July 18, at 8 p.m. ET | 7 p.m. CT on ABC.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ESPN and this station.
Related Topics:
sportssexual misconductgymnasticslarry nassarESPNespy awards