The 2021 ‘Sports Illustrated Awards Presented by Pepsi Stronger Together’ Announces Tom Brady as 2021 Sportsperson of the Year Presented by FTX

The 2021 Sports Illustrated Awards (SI Awards) presented by Pepsi Stronger Together  took place from Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Tuesday. Attended by A-list athletes and celebrities including Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Billie Jean King, Ray Lewis, DJ Khaled, Udonis Haslem, Logan Paul, Dan Marino, Chad Johnson, and many more, the event celebrated the moments that defined sports in 2021. The night’s top honors, Sportsperson of the Year presented by FTX and The Muhammad Ali Legacy Award presented by Akaline88, were awarded to Tom Brady and tennis legend Billie Jean King.  

The 2021 Sports Illustrated Awards Winners: 

  • Sportsperson of The Year Presented by FTX – Tom Brady 
  • The Muhammad Ali Legacy Award Presented by Alkaline88  – Billie Jean King 
  • Athlete of the Year Presented by U.S. Polo Assn. – Suni Lee and Caeleb Dressel
  • Hometown Hero Presented by Pepsi Stronger Together – Udonis Haslem & Candace Parker
  • Team of the Year Presented by Vitacost – Atlanta Braves
  • Best Dressed Presented by JCPenney – Tyler Herro 
  • Breakthrough Athlete of the Year Presented by Emsculpt Neo – LaMelo Ball
  • Gamer of The Year Presented by Arcade1Up – JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • Play of the Year Presented by Alkaline88 – South Dakota’s tip-drill Hail Mary on final play to beat rival SD State
  • Sportskid of The Year – Zaila Avant-Garde 

The show, which attracted over 5 million viewers around the globe, also hosted a live audience including more than 500 active-duty U.S. military personnel, members of the U.S. military reserves, and veterans and their friends and families who were recognized for their service. The complimentary tickets for the hometown heroes were made possible by Pepsi Stronger Together. 

“We were thrilled to be a part of the Sports Illustrated Awards 2021 and to honor our ‘hometown heroes’ in many forms. Firstly, by honoring and thanking our own military personnel, reserves, and veterans, and secondly by presenting Candace Parker with the Hometown Hero award on behalf of Pepsi Stronger Together,” said Derek Lewis, President, South Division of Pepsi Beverages North America (PBNA). “Whether it’s an athlete like Candace, who continues to use her platform to give back to her community, or the many people who continue to or have served our country, there’s no limit to the great work we can do as individuals but especially together.” 

For the first time in the history of the awards, Sports Illustrated unveiled its Sportsperson of the Year presented by FTX live during the awards ceremony to seven-time NFL Champion, Tom Brady. The most prestigious honor in all of sports media, Sportsperson of the Year is an annual award given to an athlete, coach or team who best represents the spirit and ideals of sportsmanship, character and performance. In addition to presenting the 2021 Sportsperson of the Year, FTX awarded a lucky fan with a fly-away to the show, personal meet and greet with Udonis Haslem, and an entire Bitcoin.

“We want to congratulate our FTX global athlete ambassador and one of the greatest sports figures of all-time, Tom Brady, on winning the 2021 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year award. We’re thrilled to support the Sports Illustrated Awards in highlighting some of the world’s most impactful athletes. Giving fans the opportunity to get closer to their sports heroes through crypto and NFTs is something we’re very passionate about.” – Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO and Founder of FTX. 

This year’s event was produced by Medium Rare in conjunction with ABG Entertainment. The Sports Illustrated issue spotlighting Sportsperson of the Year Tom Brady and Muhammad Ali Legacy Award recipient Billie Jean King is on stands December 16. The digital cover is now available at SI.com.