By: Nina Samone
The ESPY Awards, or Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly, are annual awards that recognize individual and team athletic achievements.
On July 20th of this year, the 29th annual awards took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, hosted by Golden State Warriors player and 2022 NBA Champion Stephen Curry.
After an early LeBron James joke and several award titles himself – including Best NBA Player and Best Record-Breaking Performance – he used his platform to bring attention to a more serious matter.
Wearing Griner’s Phoenix Mercury jersey under his suit and joined by WNBA players Skylar Diggins-Smith and Nneka Ogwumike, the trio addressed Griner’s situation and made it very clear that she was still on the forefront of everyone’s mind.
“We urge the entire global sports community to continue to stay energized on her behalf,” Curry said. “She’s one of us, the team of athletes in this room tonight and all over the world. A team that has nothing to do with politics or global conflict.”
The Golden State Warriors had quite the haul at the awards, winning the Best Team award. Klay Thompson joined his teammate as an ESPY winner by taking home the award for Best Comeback Athlete.
Most notable winners can be found here:
Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Dick Vitale
Pat Tillman Award for Service: Gretchen Evans
Arthur Ashe Award for Courage: Vitali Klitschko
Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year: Denver Broncos
Sports Humanitarian League of the Year: WNBA
Best MMA Fighter: Charles Oliveira
Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports: Jocelyn Alo, Oklahoma Softball
Best College Athlete, Men’s Sports: Bryce Young, Alabama Football
Best MLB Player: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Rams
Best NFL Player: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Best NBA Player: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Best WNBA Player: Candace Parker, Chicago Sky
Best Game: Kansas City Chiefs defeat Buffalo Bills in OT (AFC Divisional Game)
Best Championship Performance: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (Super Bowl LVI)
Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Eileen Gu, Olympic Freestyle Skier
Best Athlete, Women’s Sports: Katie Ledecky, Olympic Swimmer
Best Record-Breaking Performance: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (3-point record)
Best Play: Megan Rapinoe, USWNT
Best Comeback Athlete: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Best Athlete, Men’s Sports: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
Best Team: Golden State Warriors
For the full awards list, visit ESPN here: https://www.espn.com/espys/story/_/id/34271763/2022-espys-award-winners
ESPN News Sources. July 2022. ESPN. “Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry hosts ESPYS, brings awareness to detained WNBA star Brittney Griner.” <https://www.espn.com/espys/story/_/id/34273918/golden-state-warriors-star-stephen-curry-hosts-espys-brings-awareness-detained-wnba-star-brittney-griner>
Walsh, Erin. July 20th, 2022. Bleacher Report. “ESPY 2022 Winners: Awards Results, Recap, Top Moments and Twitter Reaction.” <https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10042743-espy-2022-winners-awards-results-recap-top-moments-and-twitter-reaction>