More than 150 survivors of sexual abuse offered statements in the sentencing of former doctor Larry Nassar earlier this year. They will be honored tonight with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The 2018 ESPYS.
Among those who gave survivor statements was former Central Michigan gymnast Samantha Ursch, who spoke on the fourth day of the seven days of statements.
The ESPYS, which honors the top athletes, moments and more each year, will be shown live. The show begins at 8 p.m. on ABC.
“We are honored to recognize the courage of these women at The 2018 ESPYS, to acknowledge the power of their voices, and to shine a very well-deserved spotlight on what speaking up, fighting back, and demanding accountability can accomplish,” said Alison Overholt, Vice President and Editor in Chief, ESPN The Magazine, espnW, and The ESPYS. “They have shown us all what it truly means to speak truth to power, and through their bravery, they are making change for future generations. By honoring this group who spoke out, we aim to honor all of those who are survivors of abuse.”
Ursch was a member of the CMU gymnastics team from 2007-2011. When she gave her survivor statement in January, CMU gymnastics coach Jerry Reighard said, “We stand with her, together, as a family.”
CMU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford said that feeling remains strong among the CMU Athletics staff.
“Samantha Ursch is among the group of women who should be honored,” Alford said. “One by one, they moved the topic of sexual abuse into a national discussion that continues to grow. I can’t think of a more deserving group for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.”