The announcement of the special presentation came amid increasing furor over Hill being passed over for the
A representative for the ESPYs said the producers of the show had planned to honor Hill all along, but did not announce it until Tuesday. The announcement came in an exclusive report in USA Today, and was not distributed to other media outlets writing about the Jenner controversy.
There has been widespread speculation about an alleged deal between
Although Jenner has been praised for her bravery, prominent sports personalities have objected, including NBC's
Hill, who died in April, has been cited by many in sports and in social media as being as more deserving of the award than Jenner, who is a cast member of the reality series "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." Jenner left sports after winning the Olympic gold medal in the decathalon in 1976.
ABC and the ESPYs have denied that there was any arrangement with Jenner to receive the Ashe award.
"Lauren Hill's journey inspired so many and speaks to the power of the human spirit," said Connor Schell, senior vice president of ESPN Films and original content said in a statement to USA Today. "Lauren's legacy will continue to transcend the sports world, and we are humbled and honored to celebrate her on the ESPYS stage."
Lisa Hill, the mother of Lauren Hill, will attend the awards. She said she wants to meet Jenner and wants her to know that her family was not behind the criticism, according to USA Today.