The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, and ESPN announce The 2020 ESPYS presented by Capital One will benefit cancer research funded through the V Foundation. The show, airing June 21 on ESPN at 9 p.m. EST and hosted by Russell Wilson, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, will highlight the impact of athletes, teams and industry professionals using sports to make a positive impact on society. The annual event also highlights the partnership between the V Foundation and its founding partner ESPN as they work together toward Victory Over Cancer®.
The sixth annual Sports Humanitarian Awards, sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb, will be featured in ESPN programming throughout the week, and will benefit the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund. The Fund supports minority researchers or investigators studying cancer disparities among minorities. Overall, African American researchers are under-represented in the field of biomedical research. African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest length of survival of any racial ethnic group for most cancers. The Stuart Scott Fund seeks to address both of these disparities. This week, the V Foundation is proud to announce Bristol Myers Squibb has made an additional $1 million donation to the Stuart Scott Fund to support the work of African American V Scholars. With the addition of this new funding, more than $11 million will have been awarded through the Stuart Scott Fund. The V Foundation, ESPN and Bristol Myers Squibb encourage everyone to stand up against inequities and disparities in cancer by making a donation to the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at v.org/stuartscott.
“We are proud of our continued partnership with ESPN and the V Foundation and of our collective efforts to progress cancer research and serve vulnerable patient communities,” said Adam Lenkowsky, General Manager and Head, U.S., Oncology, Immunology, Cardiovascular, Bristol Myers Squibb. “Now, more than ever, we need to continue our commitment to science and collaboration to better support minority scientists and researchers while addressing disparities in cancer care.”
The V Foundation’s story began at ESPN’s inaugural ESPY Awards in 1993. Jim Valvano, legendary basketball coach and ESPN commentator, received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his perseverance and positive outlook amidst his cancer diagnosis. During his inspirational speech, Jim announced the formation of the V Foundation. For 27 years, ESPN has partnered with the V Foundation to highlight the impact of funding life-saving cancer research.
Despite the different presentation of this two-hour, pre-taped special, some exciting features are planned for The 2020 ESPYS. In this extraordinary year, the show will reflect the unique challenges and triumphs of 2020. As in previous shows, ESPN will also celebrate the best of the year in sports through inspirational stories.
Because cancer patients and survivors are more vulnerable than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important that fundraising for research continue. Every day more than 1,600 people in the U.S. die from cancer. The ongoing support of ESPN and generous sponsors is critical to making scientific breakthroughs that give longer lives and a better quality of life to cancer patients.
“The V Foundation is always proud to be beneficiary of funds raised with the ESPYS,” said Susan Braun, Chief Executive Officer of the V Foundation. “And at this time, we are especially happy and humbled to be able to grant these funds to minority scientists as well as cancer researchers who are studying disparities in cancer. We have long held that these inequities need resolution and have already put more than $10 million toward that goal; and now, we vow to continue to do all we can to change that. ESPN was at the start of the Stuart Scott Fund with us, and Bristol Myers Squibb has stood with us in this endeavor.”
“ESPN is proud to continue its long-standing commitment in raising awareness and critical funds for the Stuart Scott Fund, and we can’t thank our corporate, foundation and league partners enough for continuing their support for minority cancer research,” said Kevin Martinez, Vice President of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “This year’s programming will look different but will be equally inspiring. All week leading up to the ESPYS, we will be featuring the Sports Humanitarian Awards, which honor those that are using the power of sports to create change within their communities, with all of us coming together to support those in need through the V Foundation.”
The V Foundation has proudly awarded more than $250 million for cutting-edge cancer research. The V Foundation holds a 4-star (highest) rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest evaluator of charities, and is among the top 3% of all charities evaluated. The V Foundation is a GuideStar platinum-rated charity.