When Robert Kraft took the stage to accept the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award Tuesday night, he was in good company. With current and former Patriots players, famous Patriots fans, New England natives turned ESPN commentators and the two other honorees, the second annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards proved to be night of celebration and remembrance.
Robert was one of three to receive the award in honor of the beloved ESPN commentator who passed away in 2015. Robert's fiscal generosity and time spent in the community to empower nonprofit organizations throughout New England, as well as his work to bring reliable health care to underserved areas earned him the honor.
Former Patriots Troy Brown presented Robert with the ENSPIRE Award, alongside New England native and ESPN sportscaster Sean McDonough.
Along with Troy, Malcolm Butler was also on hand to support Robert, as was Chief Brand Officer of the WWE and Patriots superfan Stephanie McMahon.
Tennis star Billie Jean King was honored with the ENSPIRE Award for her work advocating for the passage of Title IX and for founding the Women's Sports Foundation, as was the 2015 University of Missouri football team. The team threatened to boycott a game in the midst of an on-campus hunger strike due to racial issues at the university, and through their stance played a role in pushing for change on campus.
The ceremony honored the very best of the sports world off the field, including Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers as Sports Humanitarian of the Year and the San Francisco Giants as the Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year.
Other awards included the League Humanitarian Award, which went to the NBA, and the Community Impact Award, which was given to Bank of America. Last summer, Bank of America teamed up with the Special Olympics for the first Unified Relay Across America, including more than 10,000 torchbearer -- both participants and volunteers -- that walked, ran or wheeled the torch from Greece to Los Angeles. The ceremoney and the games helped to change the perceptions of people with intellectual disabilities.
While the ESPN Sports Humanitarian Awards ceremony was filmed Tuesday night, it won't air until later this week. To see Robert accept his award and give a speech, tune on Friday, July 15 at 7 p.m.