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What the “2022 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award” Winner Embodies as an Athlete and Leader

The 2022 ESPYS took place this week, with a plethora of sports accolades recognized and celebrated throughout the evening.  

The event is dedicated to saluting the best in sports today, with categories spanning from “Best Breakthrough Athlete” to more specialized awards like “Best Male College Basketball Player.”

One of the most highly touted awards is the “Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian” award, and the recipient of that accolade went to baseball player Albert Pujols this year.

An article by ESPN details the significance of this award and how Pujols is a well deserved beneficiary of this title.

Albert Pujols was named the 2022 recipient of the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award as part of the ESPYS on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, another accolade for the retiring St. Louis Cardinals slugger.

The award is given to an athlete whose “continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a measured positive impact on their community through sports. The candidate must embrace the core principles that Muhammad Ali embodied so well, including confidence, conviction, dedication, giving and respect.”

Pujols certainly embodies all of those characteristics.

He is president of the Pujols Family Foundation, which has had a twofold cause since its inception in 2005: helping the impoverished in his native Dominican Republic and aiding those living with Down syndrome in the United States. The slugger’s daughter, Isabella, has Down syndrome, a genetic disorder.”

Read the rest of this article here.

This award represents more than just what a successful athlete should strive to become; it is a representation of the people who present themselves authentically and with confidence in whatever they do.

Traits like selflessness and commitment are revered within the sports world, but they should also be what we strive for in the business sphere.

Like Ali, Pujols spreads his influence beyond his sport and shows his great qualities through his endeavors, including his foundation.

In your business, it is important to strive for these same qualities, especially as you learn and grow within your company.

Like Pujols, Ali, and every other professional athlete, people don’t immediately step into their roles and start being praised for their accomplishments.

Respect is earned, and so is praise. Neither of these will come your way without putting in the work and showing up everyday as the business leader you want to become.

Awards like the ones given at the ESPYS are wonderful, but stand out individuals like Albert Pujols don’t do what they do to be praised and celebrated. They strive to be the best version of themselves for their families, teammates, and their communities.

Make sure that you are doing everything possible to align yourself with these values and strive for excellence in your business every single day.

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