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Falcons, United owner named ESPN's Sports Philanthropist of the Year

ESPN awarded Arthur m. Blank sports philanthropist of the year at the seventh annual sports humanitarian awards.

ATLANTA — Highlighted for his philanthropic work with The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and Blank’s Family of Businesses, ESPN named Arthur Blank the Sports Philanthropist of the Year during their seventh annual Sports Humanitarian Awards. 

The award ceremony celebrates the impact made by athletes, teams and sports industry professionals using sports to make a difference throughout communities. Blank, the co-founder of The Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, has given over $800 million in the last 25 years through the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

According to the press release, in the last year, Blank and his foundation committed more than $300 million in grants, which includes a $200 million grant to develop the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Arthur M. Blank hospital. 

The donation is the largest in the hospital's history.

Among his philanthropic donations is a $17 million grant to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, a part of a 20,000 square feet expansion to the center.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, also owned by Blank, became the largest vaccination site in the southeast and administered 300,000 vaccines. According to the press release, Blank always envisioned the stadium as a "community-serving center." 

"When we simplify what it means to give back, it's neighbors helping neighbors and friends helping friends, that is humanitarian work in its purest, and perhaps most powerful form," Blank said in the press release. 

Forbes named Blank one of the World's 100 Greatest Living Business Minds and one of America's Top 50 Givers. He was also Sports Business Journal's Sports Executive of the Year in 2018

The award ceremony, filmed atop of The RoofTop at Pier 17 in New York City, will air on July 24 at 2.p.m.