In March 2018, Love penned an essay for The Players' Tribune titled "Everyone Is Going Through Something" about his personal experiences with stress and anxiety. Since then, he has been outspoken regarding issues of mental health and how to handle them.
"For me, I was done suffering," Love said to Zillgitt. "I was done compartmentalizing and putting it away. I wanted to reveal some things and heal it. As long as you can help just that one kid, it's going to make all the difference."
ESPN created the Arthur Ashe Courage Award as a way to "[pay] tribute to those who find ways through sports to make a difference far beyond the field of play and impact the world in indelible ways."
Hall of Famer Bill Russell, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Pat and Kevin Tillman, and Dean Smith are among some of the previous winners.
Love told Zillgitt he's "incredibly humbled" to be the newest recipient and that "it's a really profound honor."
In addition to his work raising awareness about mental health, Love donated $100,000 in March to Quicken Loans Arena employees shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the 2019-20 NBA season. He also explained to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan in May the pandemic has further underscored the need for people to take proper care of themselves beyond just their physical wellbeing.
With the NBA tentatively planning to take 22 teams to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, to restart the 2019-20 season, the Cavaliers' year is over. Love made 56 appearances, averaging 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds in 56 games.