James receives, Thorpe Award, Hosts NAMA tonight!
Mickie James has been named this year's recipient of the Jim Thorpe Sports Award.
The 17th recipient of the award, James is the first female to win the award and received the honor for her years in the ring, which saw her win championships in WWE and TNA, while building an incredible career that has inspired many.
The six-time WWE Women's Champion was taken aback when she received the news.
"This is an incredible honor," James said. "To be recognized like this is amazing, and even more special to be the first female to win. I'm incredibly touched.
"Jim Thorpe was such an inspiration to so many Native Americans during his career and in the years following," she continued. "I've worked hard to be a role model in a simple manner as him, and to be even mentioned alongside this remarkable athlete is just amazing."
Those who have worked with James across her incredible career congratulated her on the honor, including WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon.
"Not only is she co-hosting this year's Native American Music Awards and her song "I Don't Give A" is nominated for 2 awards...she is the first female receiving the Thorpe Sports Award," McMahon said on social media. "We are so proud of you @MickieJames, you can do it all! Good luck tonight! @NativeAwards"
Created and first given out during the second annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA), the Thorpe Award was created by the multi-sport hero's daughter, Grace, to honor outstanding achievements by Native American athletes. Thorpe, a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, was the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States and played football professionally in multiple leagues.
The award is the start of an incredible weekend for James, which will include her co-hosting the NAMAs tonight at 8pm. The festivities kick off at 6 eastern with a red carpet entrance. Both the pre-show and awards event will stream live on NAMAlive.com and on the NAMA YouTube channel. James is also up for two awards tonight, including Best Indie Single of the Year and Best Concept for a Music Video, both for her song I Don't Give A.