The comedian wants to use his opportunity to give back.
Joining the ranks of the other four former Saturday Night Live cast members who have previously hosted the ESPY Awards, Tracy Morgan will take his turn for the 2019 ceremony. This Wednesday, July 10, athletes from all areas will join together at Los Angeles's Microsoft Theater to help honor one another's achievements. This isn't just about inflating athletes' egos; the ESPY's are known for their contributions to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, a connection that aided in Morgan making the decision to become the host of the show.
The Washington Post and Associated Press report that Morgan stated his grandparents and his ex-wife, Sabina, all died from cancer. "The main reason I really wanted to do it is the fight against cancer," he said. "I have an opportunity to fight their cause and I'm all in." In nearly three decades, the ESPYs have helped raise almost $97 million for the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
"We'll have a great time, but the most important thing is [late basketball coach] Jim Valvano. I'll never forget watching him at the ESPYS," Morgan said. "We forget sometimes the cause, we enjoy being there, but we got to understand the reason why we're there. It's an opportunity to give back. I'm in service to others."
"I'm 50 years old and I've been hit by a truck doing 75 mph," Morgan continued. "I thank god for every day." The entertainer added, "My father survived Vietnam. He told me the only way out of the darkness is to be in service to others. That's why I do comedy."