Maya Moore has won just about every basketball award imaginable.
After finishing one of the most illustrious collegiate careers in college basketball’s history, Moore was named the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2011 and earned All-WNBA honors in all of her next seven seasons in the league. She was named to the league’s All-Defensive team in 2014 and 2017, became the Finals MVP in 2013 and earned the league’s MVP honors the following season. Plus, she’s a four-time WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist.
But now she’s a finalist for an award that may top all of her basketball-related achievements.
On Wednesday, ESPN named Moore a finalist for the 2020 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award for her pursuit of justice for Jonathan Irons, who was sentenced to 50 years in prison when he was a minor in 1993 for burglary and assault charges.
Since learning of Irons’ case, Moore has used her platform to bring awareness to the criminal justice system while fighting to overturn Irons’ conviction. The New York Times’ Kurt Streeter reported in March that Irons’ guilty verdict was vacated by Jefferson County Judge Daniel Green who ordered that Irons be released from maximum security prison.
Aside from helping Irons seek justice, Moore has spent her hiatus from playing in the WNBA by speaking at schools and the Congressional Black caucus, joining the Marshall Project’s panel What’s The Story and launching a nationwide petition, “Win With Justice,” that re-imagines what it means to “win” in the criminal justice system.
“(Moore’s) story is one of selfless dedication, faith and pursuit of truth,” the ESPN press release read.
The Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award is given to an athlete “whose continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a measured, positive impact on their community through sports,” according to ESPN.
Nelson Cruz (Minnesota Twins), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Devin and Jason McCourty (New England Patriots) and Titus O’Neil (WWE Superstar) were also named as finalists for the award.
All finalists and the award’s recipient will be honored during the 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capital One, which will air on ESPN at 8 p.m. CT on Sunday, June 21.