The 2020 ESPY Awards will have a different look this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, it was announced Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, soccer star Megan Rapinoe and WNBA star Sue Bird would host the annual awards show in remote settings. The two-hour broadcast of ESPYS will air on June 21 on ESPN. Show producer Jeff Smith told the Associated Press making the ESPYS happen in different locations will be very challenging.
"Typically, we are all shoulder to shoulder and looking through cuts and arguing through story ideas," he said via ESPN. "We found a different way to connect with each other." Typically, the ESPYS has one host, but there's has been only one other time the show had multiple hosts in 2007 when LeBron James and Jimmy Kimmel held the honor. "We liked the idea of having athletes from diverse sports that represent something for every fan," Smith added. We're finding ways to make this feel really connected to the audience. They're so ready to reach out to this community."
Because the ESPYS will be done virtually, there will be some changes. It has has been confirmed The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Pat Tillman Award for Service and Jimmy V Award for Perseverance will be presented. However, when it comes to giving the awards, producers want to call the winner at the same time the audience finds out.
Last year, Tracy Morgan hosted the ESPYS, and the U.S. Women's Soccer Team was highlighted, winning the Best Team award and Alex Morgan winning Best Female Athlete. The state of Wisconsin was also well-represented as Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo won the award for Best Male Athlete and Best NBA Player, while Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich won Best MLB Player.
Wilson, Rapinoe and Bird are more than worthy of hosting the ESPYS. Wilson is one of the top quarterbacks in the league, throwing for 4,110 yards, 31 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 2019. He led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl for the 2013 season and he's the second-highest rated passer in NFL history. Rapinoe helped the U.S. Women's Soccer team win the World Cup last year while winning The Best FIFA Women's Player award. Bird, who is in a relationship with Rapinoe, has led the Seattle Storm to three WNBA Championships since 2002.