USA TODAY columnist Christine Brennan received the top award presented by the Associated Press Sports Editors on Tuesday, joining the company of several legends in journalism who have had a profound impact on her career.

Brennan is the 2020 Red Smith Award winner but her acceptance of the APSE honor was delayed a year due to the pandemic. She received the award at the organization’s national convention in Las Vegas.

In introducing Brennan, former Washington Post sports editor George Solomon noted Brennan’s stature as a trailblazer for women in the business and her influence as one of the leading sports columnists in the nation. Solomon, the 2003 Red Smith Award winner, hired Brennan at the Post in 1984 and promoted her to cover Washington’s NFL team the following year. At the time, there were very few female beat reporters covering the NFL.

Christine Brennan

Brennan is among a group of five women to receive the prestigious Red Smith Award since it began in 1981. Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins also was honored Tuesday as the award’s 2021 recipient.

“It’s such an honor to be included with some of my editors, mentors, role models and friends, including George Solomon, Edwin Pope, Ed Storin, Dick Schaap, Sandy Rosenbush, Sally Jenkins and Henry Freeman,” Brennan said. “It’s certainly one of the great highlights of my career.”

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