Megan Rapinoe & Sue Bird Join NFL Star Russell Wilson As Hosts of 2020 ESPYS

ESPN announces first-ever virtual ESPYS Awards hosted by USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, 3x WNBA Champion Sue Bird and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Haley Graves

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
Posted On: May 26th, 2020 3:05pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

ABTV Loves The ESPYs

In recurring fashion, 2020 will go down in the history books as everything but ‘normal’. Those standards are now extending to the ESPYS which for the first time will feature three hosts, a remote setting and a change in focus surrounding the event. 

For years on end, the greatest athletes in the world have showed off their most fashionable red carpet looks in Los Angeles each summer to commemorate a fantastic year of sports. However, this year everyone will tune in from the likes of their own homes and the wardrobe is likely to look different as well. 

Not only will outer appearances be unique to the awards show this year, but additionally ESPN has announced instead of honoring the past year’s top athletes and moments in sports, the show will celebrate heroism and humanitarian aid. 

The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Pat Tillman Award for Service and Jimmy V Award for Perseverance are among the honors to be presented.

Humanizing these types of events has been the main theme for 2020. Football fans were able to take a look inside the homes of future NFL stars, head coaches and general managers during the NFL draft this year. Additionally, an average of 5.8 million viewers tuned in to watch “The Match” featuring a golf match between Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. 

Last summer during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, U.S. Women’s National Team star and co-captain Megan Rapinoe captivated the United States and the rest of the world on the biggest stage. Now she’ll get her chance to host the ESPYS alongside the three time WNBA champion Sue Bird. The power couple has already brought joy to several homes during the coronavirus quarantine by utilizing Instagram Live – and now they’ll take their skills to a much broader audience.

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Additionally, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will put on his best act to balance out the duo as the third host. All three live in the Seattle area and will preside over the two-hour broadcast airing June 21 on ESPN.

Embed from Getty Images

“We liked the idea of having athletes from diverse sports that represent something for every fan,” show producer Jeff Smith said. “We’re finding ways to make this feel really connected to the audience. They’re’ so ready to reach out to this community.”

It is likely this year’s ESPYS will have the power to compete as the most-watched in history. 

And while Bird and Rapinoe have the charm and enjoyable rapport, Wilson will be the balance to keep this award ceremony in a more reserved feel. 

The biggest question is ‘how will this get pulled off?’. Usually acceptance speeches are read off of a teleprompter by the award winner.  

According to ESPN, the producers hope to show the winners getting a call informing them of the honor at the same time the audience finds out. This would involve cooperation between the family and team members to lure the winners into view at the correct moment. 

“We really love this sort of pure reaction,” Smith said. “We found ways to really be able to capture it.” 

He also went on to add that they’re working on ways to find access with certain athletes and celebrities to surprise the audience and still maintain the same feel of the ESPYS, but also navigate the balance of a forward-looking approach to a show that typically pays homage to the past year’s biggest sports moments. 

ESPN senior vice president and editor at large echoed this message by saying, “In the not-too-distant future after the show airs, we’ll see a return to live sports that will drive a sense of hope. We hope to have this show be really reflective of that.” 

The 2020 ESPYS will be held June 21 on ESPN, instead of the usual time period of mid-July during the MLB All-Star break. And while the award show will conclude the 2019 sports year, fans will be able to get optimistic for the return of sports in 2020. 

About The Author:

Haley Graves is a host at AfterBuzz TV. She co-hosts on the panels for NBC’s This Is Us, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and CW’s Legacies.

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

Maria Menounos

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