Tennis star Naomi Osaka, who missed Wimbledon this year and pulled out of Roland Garros amid controversy over her decision to skip mandatory post-match press conferences, is among the athletes who were scheduled to attend ESPYS on Saturday in New York.
Osaka, 23, who said she has suffered from anxiety and depression since winning the first of her four Grand Slam titles at the 2018 US Open, is expected to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics more late this month.
She is among the nominees for Best Athlete, Women’s Sports and Best Athlete, Women’s Tennis at ESPYS (ABC, 8 p.m. ET).
Other top athletes expected at 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) lead a large contingent of NCAA stars expected to travel to New York. Coach legends Roy Williams and Tara VanDerveer are also expected to be in attendance.
Previously announced winners include Chris Nikic (recipient of the Jimmy V Prize for Perseverance) and Maya Moore (recipient of the Arthur Ashe Prize for Courage).
ESPYS 2021 presented by Capital One will be hosted by actor and producer Anthony Mackie. Peloton superstar instructor Ally Love will host the show backstage, and former NFL star Vernon Davis will be the voice of The ESPYS.