WNBA Legend Maya Moore to Be Given Arthur Ashe Courage Award at 2021 ESPYs

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2021

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2020, file photo, former Connecticut and Minnesota Lynx player Maya Moore applauds in Hartford, Conn. Moore says she is not ready to return to the WNBA. The basketball star said on ABC’s Good Morning America that she remains focused for now on her marriage to Jonathan Irons and their activism for criminal justice reform. She has not played for the Minnesota Lynx since the 2018 season.  (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File

WNBA legend Maya Moore will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2021 ESPYs for her work on social justice and criminal justice reform.

"I'm so honored to be able to continue to share this powerful story with the world by receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award," Moore said in a statement. "In the face of injustice, the courage to care about justice, human dignity and freedom is now able to be celebrated in this momentous way and I'm so happy for Jonathan [Irons] and all who helped contribute to this victory."

Moore has not played in the WNBA since 2018, as she's focused on criminal justice reform. Her most notable work was her advocacy for the release Jonathan Irons, who was sentenced to 50 years in prison for burglary and assault at age 16. Irons was released in July 2020 after serving 23 years.

The 32-year-old and Irons were married in 2020 as well.

Along with her work for Irons, the UConn graduate is an advocate for the End It Movement, which fights against modern-day slavery. 

"There are more people trapped in slavery today than ever before in human history," the End It Movement website reads. "Most of the world knows NOTHING about the most significant human rights issue of its time. END IT Movement is a collective of everyday people united by the hope that we could put an end to slavery and human trafficking in our lifetime."

Robin Roberts will present Moore with the award. A documentary about Moore's work in criminal justice reform, which is produced by Roberts, is set to debut later this year. 

Moore won four WNBA championships and the 2014 WNBA MVP and was a six-time All-Star during her career. It's unclear when, or if, the 6'1" forward will return to the court.

In March, the Missouri native said she wanted to spend the year relaxing and spending time with Irons.