Variety has named retired boxer Laila Ali and NFL player Antonio Brown the Sports Personalities of the Year as part of its inaugural Sports Entertainment Breakfast Presented by Mercedes-Benz.
The breakfast, which will be held July 14 at Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles, celebrates the accomplishments of athletes in their respective sports and will include discussions with other prominent players including Chris Bosh, Willie McGinest and Matt Barnes about the next New All-Star Athlete.
Ali, who went undefeated in the ring, is being feted as the first female sports personality of the year. The award recognizes not only her accomplishments as a boxer but also as a TV host, CEO, mom, wife, advocate for children and author.
Brown, who plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers, will receive the male sports personality of the year. He’s the first player in NFL history to record at least 1,000 receiving yards and at least 1,000 return yards in the same season. Brown made his acting debut in HBO’s new series “Ballers.”
The breakfast includes a panel on what athletes must do to become 2015’s the New All-Star Athlete. Ten-time NBA All-Star Bosh (Miami Heat), Hall of Famer McGinest (New England Patriots) and NBA star Barnes (Memphis Grizzlies) will discuss the changing role of athletes. From reality show competitions to social-media followings, athletes are taking a larger role in pop culture, and the New All-Star Athelete is meant to measure that.
The panel also includes sports executives Justin Castillo (CAA), Mark Ciardi (producer), Jon Weinbach (Mandalay Sports Media) and Eric Weinberger (NFL Network).