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NEW YORK — The ESPYS are returning to New York Saturday for the first time since 1999!

The award show, with initials that stand for “Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly,” honors the year’s top athletes and sports moments. For 2021, actor Anthony Mackie is hosting.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2021 ESPY Awards:

How can I watch the 2021 ESPYS?

The show will air Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT/5 p.m. PT live on ABC from The Rooftop at Pier 17 at the Seaport.

Tune in here at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT/3 p.m. PT for a live look at the ESPYS red carpet.

ALSO READ | Brooklyn baseball coach surprised with honorary ESPY Award

Who is hosting?

Anthony Mackie, best known for his roles in Marvel’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “The Hurt Locker,” will host this year’s show.
“To be hosting the ESPYs and be in the room with all of these amazing athletes, it’s a huge honor,” Mackie told the hosts of “Good Morning America.”

His enthusiasm was obvious.

WATCH: National Spelling Bee champ Zaila Avant-garde on the ESPYs Red Carpet

“I’m going to treat them like people treat me,” he said. “Like, I’m gonna run through the audience and hit people and kiss Tom Brady and like, it’s gonna to be a great time. It’s gonna be a great time. I got a bag of baseballs and footballs and baseball bats, and I’m gonna be handing out trinkets for people to autograph for me to take home.”

Marquee players meet marquee movie stars, and it’s hard to say who gets a bigger thrill out of all this. It’s become a tradition at “The ESPYs” to recruit big stars who love sports to host, and at heart, Mackie is a guy from New Orleans who loves baseball best.

“Whenever I watch sports, I always feel like I’m on the field living vicariously through that person,” he said.

The host’s career continues to soar thanks to Marvel’s upcoming “Captain America 4.”

Mackie will be the first African American to play the iconic character, so there can be no doubt that Mackie belongs during ABC and ESPN’s The Weekend of Champions.

“I want to look my best, and I want to be hydrated,” he said. “Because I might meet Venus Williams.”

MORE: ABC, ESPN airing NBA finals, Wimbledon, more for sports-filled Weekend of Champions

Nominee highlights

  • Tom Brady is nominated for “Best Athlete – Men’s Sports” and “Best NFL Player,” making this his 4th and 10th nomination in each respective category. The 2021 ESPYs will mark his 11th feature at the show. In “Best Athlete – Men’s Sports,” he is followed by three newcomers to the category in Connor McDavid, Lewis Hamilton and Nikola Jokic.
  • In “Best Athlete – Women’s Sports,” Naomi Osaka and Amanda Nunes face off against returning nominees Breanna Stewart and Simone Biles, who have a combined total of seven nominations in the category since 2014.
  • Russell Westbrook returns to the “Best Record-Breaking Performance” category with a new triple-double record where he is joined by standouts DeVonta Smith, Phil Mickelson, and Tara VanDerveer.
  • For a third straight year, Aaron Donald returns to “Best NFL Player” where he faces off against legends Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, along with newcomer to the category Derrick Henry.

Click here for a full list of nominees.

Robin Roberts, Rob Gronkowski, Kane Brown, Paige Bueckers and more scheduled to present

This year’s scheduled presenters include Kane Brown (multiplatinum artist), DaBaby (multiplatinum recording artist), Charli D’Amelio (social media star), Dixie D’Amelio (social media star), Alexandra Daddario (“The White Lotus” and “Die in a Gunfight”), Taye Diggs (actor), Desus Nice and The Kid Mero (“Desus & Mero”), Nina Dobrev (actress, writer, producer), Dude Perfect (YouTube stars), Rob Gronkowski (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Sabrina Ionescu (New York Liberty), Chloe Kim (Olympic gold medalist), Zachary Levi (“American Underdog”), Tracy Morgan (actor/comedian), Joe Namath (New York Jets legend), Julius Randle (New York Knicks), Robin Roberts (ABC’s “Good Morning America”), Mikaela Shiffrin (two-time Olympic gold medalist), Iliza Shlesinger (actress/comedian), Kurt Warner (“American Underdog”), Roy Williams (retired UNC basketball coach) and more.

Naomi Osaka among sports stars to attend

Tennis star Naomi Osaka, who sat out Wimbledon this year and withdrew from the French Open in the wake of a controversy surrounding her decision to skip mandatory postmatch news conferences, is among the athletes scheduled to attend The ESPYS.

The 23-year-old Osaka, who has said she has been dealing with anxiety and depression since winning the first of her four Grand Slam titles at the 2018 US Open, is scheduled to represent Japan in the Tokyo Olympics later this month.

She is among the nominees for Best Athlete, Women’s Sports and Best Athlete, Women’s Tennis at The ESPYS (ABC, 8 p.m. ET).

Other high-profile athletes expected to attend The ESPYS include DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona Cardinals), Rob Gronkowski (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Sarah Fuller (Vanderbilt football), Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga men’s basketball), Paige Bueckers (UConn women’s basketball), Amanda Nunes (UFC), Betnijah Laney (New York Liberty) and Julius Randle (New York Knicks). National champions Jocelyn Alo (Oklahoma softball), Jared Butler (Baylor men’s basketball) and DeVonta Smith (Alabama football) headline a large contingent of NCAA stars expected to travel to New York. Coaching legends Roy Williams and Tara VanDerveer are scheduled to be in attendance as well.

Maya Moore to receive Arthur Ashe Award

Maya Moore will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The ESPYS for her work on criminal justice reform.

The four-time WNBA champion will receive the honor from “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts Saturday — the same day that the late tennis champion would have turned 78.

Moore stepped away from her basketball career in 2019 to seek justice for Jonathan Irons, who was serving a 50-year prison sentence after being wrongly convicted of burglary and assault. Irons’ conviction was overturned last year and he was freed. The couple later married.

The Ashe Award is given to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. Among the previous honorees are Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King and Pat Summitt.

Chris Nikic, first person with Down syndrome to finish Ironman, to receive Jimmy V Award

Chris Nikic, the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon, will be honored with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.

The award is given to a person in the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination.

In November 2020, Nikic, then 21, finished a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile marathon run at the Ironman Florida competition in Panama City Beach in 16 hours, 46 minutes and 9 seconds — 14 minutes under the 17-hour cutoff time.

Throughout his training and completion of the race, Nikic inspired others to follow in his footsteps: spreading his message to be “1 percent better” every single day, in every aspect of life.

Nikic also is a nominee in the “Best Athlete with a Disability, Men’s Sports” category.

Copyright © 2021 OnTheRedCarpet.com. All Rights Reserved.

Source: ABC7

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