FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2020,
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, USA — A gesture consistent with the highest ideals of international sport, and reflective of the timeless values of lacrosse, is being celebrated with a special distinction.
Following a favorable decision from the International World Games Association regarding eligibility, Ireland Lacrosse made the decision to voluntarily vacate its position in the men’s lacrosse competition at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, to make way for the Iroquois Nationals to compete. In voluntarily vacating its position in favor of the Iroquois Nationals, Ireland Lacrosse helped ensure one of the top-ranked teams in international lacrosse, and the originators of the game, would have the opportunity to compete on this international stage.
This selfless gesture has resonated with sport participants and fans around the world, and in recognition, Ireland Lacrosse is being honored as a recipient of The 2020 Musial Award. Presented annually by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the National Sportsmanship Foundation, The Musial Awards celebrate the year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship and those in sports who embody class and character.
The awards are named in honor of Stan Musial, the beloved St. Louis Cardinal baseball player and Hall of Famer who personified the very best virtues of sportsmanship and fair play. In addition to keeping Stan’s legacy alive, the mission of The Musial Awards is to encourage kindness, integrity and civility in sports and society – and to inspire people across the nation and world to be good sports.
The announcement was made today by Marc Schreiber, Vice President of the St. Louis Sports Commission and Executive Producer of The Musial Awards, during the opening of the 2020 World Lacrosse General Assembly (which is being held in a virtual format).
Recipients of The 2020 Musial Award will be honored during a one-hour television special on CBS Television on December 26 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The show will be seen throughout the United States.
“Ireland Lacrosse’s gesture to withdraw from The World Games 2022 so that the Iroquois Nationals could qualify for the event exemplifies extraordinary sportsmanship,” said Schreiber. “It’s an act of incredible selflessness, and we admire the commitment to fairness. Ireland Lacrosse is most deserving of an award that stands for class, kindness and character in sports.”
“International sport is built upon values of friendship and fairness; of moments when athletes reach across the aisle in a sign of respect for their fellow competitors,” said World Lacrosse President Sue Redfern. “This remarkable gesture by Ireland Lacrosse, and the response to it by the Iroquois Nationals and the wider lacrosse family, is a reminder of the unique power of sport to unite and inspire. World Lacrosse is grateful to the St. Louis Sports Commission for recognizing our member, and our sport, with such a prestigious honor.”
“All of us at Ireland Lacrosse have gained so much from our great sport, and Ireland itself has always had a special connection with the indigenous people of North America, coming to each other’s aid in times of need,” said Michael Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer of Ireland Lacrosse. “We are privileged to have the opportunity to continue this legacy, to enable the Iroquois Nationals – who gave the game of lacrosse to the world – to claim the spot that is rightfully theirs in such a prestigious event as the World Games. The esteemed recognition we are receiving through the Musial Awards proves to us all that we are better ‘I’d teannta a chéile’, ‘together as one’!”
The St. Louis Sports Commission has a proud tradition of recognizing exemplary acts of sportsmanship through The Musial Awards, and of supporting Olympic and international sport through the hosting of World Championships, Olympic Trials and other major sporting events. Previous recipients of The Musial Award include Arnold Palmer, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Joe Torre, Cal Ripken Jr., and Tamika Catchings — to name just a few.
The World Games 2022 will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA from July 7-17, 2022.
Media Contact: Darryl Seibel
About World Lacrosse
World Lacrosse is the international federation for men’s and women’s lacrosse, responsible for providing effective leadership and governance of the sport internationally while supporting the continued growth of lacrosse worldwide. In November 2018, World Lacrosse was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee. The President of World Lacrosse is Sue Redfern of England.