September 6, 2023 – Today, Athlete Ally announced that US Women’s National Team and NWSL player and Athlete Ally Ambassador Becky Sauerbrunn (she/her) will be honored at the 2023 Annual Athlete Ally Action Awards. The awards ceremony will take place on Friday, October 20 at 7:00pm EST at the Chelsea Piers in New York City. Additional honorees include Layshia Clarendon, Chris Mosier and the Harvard Athlete Ally Campus Chapter.
Becky, who will be participating virtually, is the inaugural recipient of the Eli A. Wolff Legacy Award. Eli Wolff was a pioneer in sport for people with disabilities, in sport and human rights, and in institutionalizing and validating sport as a tool for social change. The contributions Eli made to sports and human rights are invaluable and innumerable. He touched so many lives through his incredible work to make sure that all athletes are seen as human beings first, and are welcome and included in sports.
With the blessing of Eli’s family, we are proud to honor his legacy by establishing the Eli A. Wolff Legacy Award, to be presented annually to individuals who share Eli’s passion for LGBTQI+ allyship and intersectional justice.
“It is with tremendous honor that we present Becky Sauerbrunn with a well-deserved Action Award, and the inaugural Eli A. Wolff Legacy Award,” said Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally. ”Becky’s allyship, advocacy and leadership encapsulate the heart of our work at Athlete Ally and the work Eli dedicated his life and career to – that through sport, athletes have the power to use their platforms for good, to inspire action, and to change lives. Through the years, Becky has done exactly that, mobilizing hundreds of thousands of fans to speak up and out for LGBTQI+ equality.”
“I’m honored to accept an Athlete Ally Action Award, and specifically the Eli A. Wolff Legacy Award in remembrance of such an impactful, inspiring leader in allyship and intersectional justice,” said Becky Sauerbrunn. “I believe that all youth deserve equal access and experience in sport, and I’m so proud to work together with Athlete Ally to fight to make this a reality.”
Becky Sauerbrunn is an American soccer player, Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion. She currently plays for Portland Thorns FC and is a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, where she is a mainstay in the defensive backline. Becky owes much of her success to lessons learned growing up with two older brothers. She taught herself to solve problems on her own and that mentality stayed with her throughout life and into her soccer career.
Becky first represented her country in 2000 as a member of the U16 Youth National Team. She earned her first cap for the senior National Team in 2008 during the Four Nations Tournament in a match against Canada. Since then, Becky has represented the United States in two Women’s World Cups and two Olympic Games. As a member of the 2015 World Cup team, Becky played every minute of all seven matches.
Prior to playing for the Utah Royals, Becky was a key member of the FC Kansas City back line, where she played in the center of the defense for all five seasons of the club’s existence. While at FC Kansas City, she won two NWSL championships and was named NWSL Defender of the Year for three straight seasons (2013-2015). Becky also played professional soccer for the Washington Freedom, Røa IL, magicJack, and D.C. United Women.
As a collegiate athlete, Becky played varsity soccer for the University of Virginia Cavaliers, where she played in every match in her four seasons with the team. Following her first season with the Cavaliers, Becky earned NSCAA All-Region honors, NSCAA All-American First Team honors, All-ACC Second Team honors, and ACC All-Freshman Team honors. She was also named ACC Freshman of the Year. Following her senior season, Becky was named NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year and ACC Player of the Year.
To learn more or purchase tickets to the Awards, click here.
About Athlete Ally and the Action Awards
Athlete Ally believes sport will change the world when it welcomes and empowers all people. As a leading national nonprofit working at the intersection of sport and LGBTQI+ equality, Athlete Ally works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQI+ people in sport. We educate individuals and institutions to understand obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQI+ people and how they can build an inclusive culture within their athletic communities. We work to ensure sport governing bodies, teams and leagues adopt policies that reflect the diversity of their constituents. We incubate athlete activism to advance LGBTQI+ equality in and through sport.
The Action Awards celebrate the groundbreaking actions of organizations and individuals that help create LGBTQI+ inclusive athletic environments and eliminate anti-LGBTQI+ discrimination at large.The generous philanthropy of our dedicated Corporate Sponsors, Host Committees, and Board of Directors make this event possible.