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The People’s Choice Awards are honoring the professional athletes who are not only excelling in their sports but also fighting for change, standing up against injustices and providing aid to communities in need.
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, who are both nominated for The Game Changer of 2019 at the PCAs, are spearheading the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team’s fight for equal pay. The team sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination due to the pay discrepancy and unequal working conditions between them and their male counterparts. The World Cup winners are hoping that their experience will inspire women in other industries to fight for equal treatment.
Simone Biles, another contender for PCAs Game Changer of the year, won her sixth all-around gymnastics title in August after she performed a triple-double in competition. The 22-year-old athlete has used her platform to bravely speak out about the abuse she suffered at the hands of former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar.
Game Changer nominee Stephen Curry may be best known for his basketball skills but his off the court endeavors are just as admirable. The Warriors player teamed up with the United Nations for the Nothing But Nets campaign which protects people around the globe from mosquito-borne diseases. In 2019, the NBA All-Star also launched his own charity with his wife, Ayesha Curry, to end childhood hungry, provide education and create safe spaces for kids to be active.
See all the nominated athletes below and be sure to check out the 2019 People’s Choice Awards, airing live on E! on Sunday, Nov. 10.
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One of the most exciting moments in sports this year happened when the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team won the World Cup in July. But, Megan Rapinoe was in the midst of another battle—fighting for equal pay in sports. The 34-year-old captain and her teammates sued the soccer federation due to the pay discrepancy between them and the Men’s National team.
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LeBron James is considered to be among the best NBA players ever but his off the court actions are just as impressive. The Lakers player created a foundation that supports educational initiatives to allow children to healthy and active lifestyles. In 2018, the 34-year-old athlete opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio to provide more opportunity to disadvantaged young.
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During the 2018 football season, Drew Brees broke Peyton Manning‘s record for career passing yards. The New Orleans Saints quarterback is now the NFL’s all-time passing leader. Off the field, the Superbowl champion created the Brees Dream Foundation which helps support cancer research, children in need and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
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Alex Morgan is at the forefront of fighting for equal pay along with her U.S. Women’s National Soccer teammates. The women are not only fighting for equal pay but also equivalent working conditions, resources and travel arrangements to their male counterparts. Currently, they are paid just forty percent of what the Men’s National team players make according to the team’s lawsuit filing. Morgan previously stated that she hopes the team’s fight will create change across many industries.
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Tennis fans were stunned when Coco Gauff upset Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon. After all, the 15-year-old tennis phenom had just become the youngest woman to quality for the main draw in the tournament’s history.
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Stephen Curry is one of the most recognizable faces in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors point guard is a six-time NBA All-Star, has won three NBA championships and been named NBA Most Valuable player twice. Outside of basketball, Curry partnered with the United Nations to spearhead the Nothing But Nets campaign which protects people around the globe from mosquito-borne diseases. In 2019, the 31-year-old athlete and his wife, Ayesha Curry, began their own charity to fight childhood hungry and encourage kids to have active lifestyles by providing safe spaces to play.
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We can’t get enough of watching Simone Biles! In August, the gymnast became the first female athlete to perform a triple-double during competition. It was this move along with the rest of stellar performance throughout the U.S. Gymnastic Championships that earned Biles her 6th all-around gymnastics title. The five-time Olympic medalist has also bravely spoken out about the abuse she suffered from USA Gymnastics physician, Larry Nassar, and is working to create change in the sport for future generations.
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Serena Williams is the winner of 39 major titles, the most of any active player but her off the court actions are equally remarkable. The tennis star is a role model to women everywhere as she has been outspoken about gender equality and female empowerment. The 37-year-old athlete also created the Williams Sisters Fund with her sister, Venus Williams, to support their hometown of Compton, CA through their various initiatives including the Yetunde Price Resource Center.
Watch the 2019 People’s Choice Awards Sunday, Nov. 10 at 9 p.m., only on E!