ESPN Chooses Michelle Obama to Give Arthur Ashe Courage Award for 25th ESPYS

Charles Dharapak/AP

ESPN announced that former First Lady Michelle Obama will present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver at the 25th annual ESPY awards.

The Chairman of Special Olympics, Timothy Shriver, is set to accept the award on his mother’s behalf, reported.

“Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a passionate champion for those with developmental challenges, empowering them to fulfill their highest potential,” Mrs. Obama said in a statement. “Her work to promote inclusion and acceptance transformed the lives of countless young athletes and inspired us all. I am incredibly honored to present this award to her son to celebrate her life’s work.”

Choosing Michelle Obama as the face for its 2017 Courage award won’t help the network defeat the claims that the network is too liberal, a charge the sports network has been battling for years now.

Indeed, this is the third example of ESPN’s liberalism in just the last month alone.

In June the sports network appointed extreme anti-Trumper Connor Schell as its second in command. Then, weeks later, the sports network chose liberal comedian Jon Stewart as a co-host for its SportsCenter coverage of the Warrior Games.

The liberal bent of the network has been bad enough to cause thousands of fans to stop watching its coverage.

Even as ESPN itself recently bought and paid for a poll that claimed the network has no problem with liberal bias, three other polls not paid for by ESPN showed a far different thing.

Early in May a YouGov poll emerged showing that Republicans had begun turning away from ESPN, but it was still just an opinion poll, not hard data.

Not long afterward, a review of ESPN viewers in the Cincinnati, Ohio, market by a TV research group named Deep Root found that viewers who call themselves Republicans and conservatives had abandoned ESPN in significant numbers.

Weeks later, and responding to criticism that Deep Root’s Cincinnati survey might not be representative of the country as a whole, the TV research company reviewed the data in 43 major TV markets across the nation and found that the Cincinnati results were reflected everywhere. According to Deep Root, ESPN has lost millions of viewers who consider themselves center right. Why would these viewers have quit watching the network if they weren’t sick and tired of the constant liberal bias?

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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