UWM alum honored with ESPN sports humanitarian award

Brice Christianson, a UWM alumnus, is being honored with the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE award as part of the ESPN 2024 Sports Humanitarian Awards. The award will be presented July 10 in Hollywood, and featured July 11 on ESPN programming as part of the 2024 ESPYs.

Christianson earned his B.S. in Education with focus on ASL/English Interpreting.

After becoming the first professional sports American Sign Language interpreter, he founded P-X-P (which stands for “play by play”) three years ago. The firm specializes in making professional sports more accessible and inclusive to those who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Christianson has provided sign language interpreting for the Milwaukee Bucks and other sports teams. He interpreted for National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman during his addresses for the Stanley Cup Final starting in 2022 — a first for major professional sports. And as part of this year’s Stanley Cup Final, Christianson’s P-X-P partnered with the NHL to produce a first-of-its-kind, alternate telecast on ESPN+ and Sportsnet+ for every game of the Stanley Cup final, “NHL in ASL,” dedicated completely to using ASL.

The ENSPIRE award is named in honor of pioneering ESPN commentator Stuart Scott, who died of cancer in 2015, and celebrates individuals that have taken risks and used an innovative approach to helping the disadvantaged through the power of sports.

Both of Christianson’s parents are deaf, and his father inspired Christianson in his career. As a youngster, his father attended Green Bay Packers practices. Team members befriended him, and he became a lifelong sports fan. Christianson’s efforts to help his dad enjoy games led him to earn his degree and to create his firm to support access and inclusion to help the Deaf community better enjoy sports.

The Sports Humanitarian Awards will be featured in studio programming with a video shown during the 2024 ESPYS, which will air live on ABC on July 11 at 7 p.m.

“Sports has the ability to bring people together and drive positive change to make a difference in communities that need it most,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN corporate citizenship. “ESPN is proud that the Sports Humanitarian Awards will once again recognize athletes and sports figures who are using the power of sports to make a difference in communities across the globe.”

The UWM Alumni Association also honored Christianson as a Graduate of the Last Decade at its annual awards ceremony in February.

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