Stuart Scott, ESPN, documentary

Stuart Scott Will Be The Focus Of A New ESPN Documentary

Scott passed away in 2015 at the age of 49 following a long battle with cancer, six months after being awarded the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2014 ESPY Awards.

ESPN Films announced on April 12 that it had approved a 30 For 30 documentary honoring Stuart Scott’s life and legacy. Scott, best known for his iconic voice and catchphrases like “boo-yah” and “cooler than the other side of the pillow,” interjected Black culture into SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship program. 

As Deadline reports, the film will be directed by Andre Gaines. Gaines told the outlet about the profound impact that Scott had on ESPN. “Stuart Scott transcended broadcasting, journalism, sports, and culture in ways that we’re only beginning to really understand and appreciate now,” Gaines said. “He made his mark on so many people, especially young Black men, and his legend has only grown since his passing. The opportunity I’ve had now to examine his life, visit his home, get to know his daughters, Taelor and Sydni, and understand how incredibly vast and rich a life Stuart lived, I can only hope that audiences find the same catharsis I’ve already experienced in making this film.”

Scott passed away in 2015 at the age of 49 following a long battle with cancer, six months after being awarded the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2014 ESPY Awards.

As Deadline reports, the documentary will chronicle his impact on culture, his rise at ESPN, his struggle with divorce, and his fight with cancer. The film, which is currently in production, was described by Marsha Cooke, the vice president and executive producer of ESPN Films, as a perfect tribute to Stuart Scott. 

“We pride ourselves on telling the stories of true originals who changed the world, and Stuart epitomized that in so many ways,” Cooke told Deadline. “This film is the perfect tribute to a man who touched lives in front of and behind the camera. Andre Gaines has begun crafting a film that will shine a new light on who Stuart really was–-from his relationship with Taelor and Sydni to the many people who saw the world differently just from spending time with him. The film will be Stuart through and through–-funny, smart, edgy, touching, and transformational.”

In 2023, his daughters, Sydni and Taelor, appeared on an episode of the Rich Eisen Show, and they talked about how much it meant to them that people had a lot of personal impact stories for them about how their father would make the time to speak to them whenever they approached him in public. His daughters mentioned that Scott did not perform an act for the camera but gave people himself.

Following his death six months after the ESPY speech, the V Foundation honored Scott’s legacy by establishing a cancer research fund. The Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund is dedicated to eliminating cancer disparities among Black Americans, inspired by his ESPY speech and dedication to cancer research. The foundation has given nearly $16 million in grant money to support cancer research. The Scott sisters started a campaign, Scoops for Stu, that raises money for cancer research and the V Foundation each year. 

As Jeff Friday, assistant director of Brand Communications for the V Foundation told ABC 11, one of the biggest impacts the foundation has had since its inception has been funding the work of underrepresented cancer researchers. “I think a lot of the ways that we really see disparities in cancer research, one of the main focuses of the Stuart Scott fund, is funding underrepresented researchers. And we hear stories all the time of researchers saying, ‘I couldn’t find funding; I couldn’t get funding for this idea.’ And we’re really proud to invest in communities and invest in researchers that we know will do great things in the future.”

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