Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank has been named the 2021 Sports Philanthropist of the Year as part of the of the production of the seventh annual Sports Humanitarian Awards on Monday in New York City, the club announced Tuesday.

The Sports Humanitarian Awardsare a celebration of the impact made by athletes, teams and sports industry professionals who are using sports to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world. Blank was given the honors in recognition of the recent philanthropic work of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and Blank’s Family of Businesses that includes the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, the nationwide PGA TOUR Superstore, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and three ranches in Montana.

“This is a tremendous honor, but it’s one that belongs to my dear family and our associates with the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, PGA TOUR Superstore, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, our ranches in Montana and our Family Foundation,” Blank said in Tuesday's statement. “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. May we all continue to look for ways to lift others, and to heal the world in whatever way we can so that all may rise.”

Blank and the Blank Family Foundation have committed more than $300 million in grants, including:

  • $200 million grant to develop the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Arthur M. Blank Hospital, the largest donation in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta history.
  • $20 million legacy grant to establish the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research at the University of Texas at Austin
  • COVID-19 relief pledge of $5.4 million in Atlanta, Montana and abroad
  • $50 million grant to Babson College, Blank’s alma mater, to establish the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Five-year, $17 million grant to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta, as part of The Center’s capital expansion to add 20,000 square feet to the existing footprint and transform its programming
  • $9.5 million grant from PGA TOUR Superstore and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to First Tee, an organization dedicated to helping youth stay active and build character through golf. He also dedicated the proceeds from his recently released memoir, Good Company, to the National Center for Civil and Human rights in perpetuity.

Multiple sports leagues and/or governing bodies including MLB, MLS, NBA, WNBA, NFL, NHL, PGA TOUR, UFC, USTA and WWE were sponsors of this year’s Sports Humanitarian Awards and have nominated athletes, teams and corporations who are transforming lives and uplifting communities. The finalists and winners were determined by an independent selection committee.