Westport, CT - Jeremy Schaap has enjoyed a long and illustrious career. He hosts both E:60 and Outside the Lines, ESPN’s showcase journalism and storytelling shows. He has interviewed the most famous, controversial, and groundbreaking athletes in sports over the past 30 years, establishing himself as one of the leading journalists in America today.
On Thursday, September 21, at 7 pm, the renowned reporter will visit The Westport Library to talk about his life, career, and more, discussing the stories behind the biggest stories in sports history and how he forged his path as a pioneer in sports journalism.
Longtime broadcaster and Westporter Dave Briggs will moderate the conversation. There will be a sports bar set up in the Library’s Trefz Forum at 6:30 pm, ahead of the talk.
"This event is really a tremendous honor,” Schaap said, “and I am looking forward to speaking with Dave. The Westport Library is a great institution, and it means a lot to me to be able to discuss my career under its roof.”
One of ESPN’s most respected personalities, Schaap, a Cornell graduate and Westport resident, has been with the network since 1994. He has covered most major sports and sporting events, including the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup, the Tour de France, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the US Open, Wimbledon, and French Open, the Men’s and Women's Final Fours, and even chess boxing.
In that time, Schaap has won two national Edward R. Murrow Awards as well as a Peabody Award, two National Headliner Awards, and 14 national Sports Emmy Awards.
It was Schaap who conducted the first interview with Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight after he was fired by Indiana University in 2000, and he also conducted the first interviews with Darryl Strawberry, then with the New York Yankees, after he was diagnosed with colon cancer; with Plaxico Burress, of the New York Giants, after he shot himself in a New York City nightclub; and with Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame linebacker, after it was reported that his supposed girlfriend had never existed.
But it has been Schaap’s reporting on sports issues around the world, especially those at the intersection of sports and society at large, for which he is best known.
Schaap’s three national Sports Emmy Awards in journalism recognized stories he reported on a Serbian basketball player convicted of a brutal assault, an Israeli soccer team’s anti-Muslim fans, and child fighters in Thailand risking their lives to support their families.
Schaap also won the national Sports Emmy Award for writing — an award named for his father, legendary sportswriter and broadcaster Dick Schaap — for his profile of chess champion Bobby Fischer. And his work has been honored by, among others, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, and the United Nations.
In 2015, Schaap won the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Award for reporting on human rights and social justice issues, a first for ESPN. That same year, he was honored with a PRISM Award for reporting on addiction issues, for a story about Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten and his abusive father. And he was nominated for a national News and Documentary Emmy Award for an E:60 profile of a survivor of extreme domestic violence; ESPN had never previously been nominated for a News Emmy Award.
In addition to his work in front of and behind the camera, Schaap is the author of Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History, a New York Times best-seller, and Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics.
Schaap has longstanding relationships with several charitable organizations, including the Greater New York chapter of the ALS Association, which has honored him with its Iron Horse Award; the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, which has honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award; and Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, whose annual banquet he emcees. Additionally, the Muscular Dystrophy Association honored him with the Steve Ennis Hope Award in 2017.
“Jeremy Schaap is one of the premier sports journalists in the world,” said Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer. “Beyond that, he is a fascinating and engaging professional who has carved out a unique space in the broadcasting landscape. His stories are amazing, but as great as they are, they’re still not as compelling as his personal story. This is an event not to miss for anyone who loves sports and thoughtful, compassionate, in-depth storytelling.”
Briggs has served as an anchor for NBC Sports, a news anchor for CNN and Yahoo Finance, the weekend host for FOX & Friends, and a digital content consultant for Moffly Media. He currently works as a March Madness studio host for Turner Sports and as vice president for business development for Cann, based in Westport. He also is an active member of the Library’s board of trustees.
Jeremy Schaap: A Career Retrospective
Thursday, September 21
6:30-8 pm (conversation starts at 7 pm)
The Westport Library (Trefz Forum)