Naomi Osaka named Laureus Sportswoman of the Yr as Lewis Hamilton’s social justice work is acknowledged
The 23-year-old was named Laureus Sportswoman of the Yr for 2021 after profitable her second US Open title, however it wasn’t simply her success on the courtroom that contributed to her claiming the accolade.
After seeing so lots of her “position fashions” win the award, Osaka mentioned it “means loads” to her to have the ability to accumulate it herself.
“Concerning my activism on the courtroom, I believe you will need to use my voice, as a result of for me I really feel like I typically maintain again loads and fear about what individuals consider me, however you understand in case you have a platform it is extremely vital you employ it,” she defined.
“Trying forward, my important hopes for the long run could be simply to have helped or impacted as many individuals as I may and, hopefully, be a greater particular person.”
Often a glitzy, crimson carpet occasion that has earned the nickname the “Oscars of Sport,” this 12 months’s Laureus Awards was staged digitally because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The awards instructed the “inspirational tales of people that labored tirelessly to fight the pandemic, and highlighted the advocacy of sportsmen and sportswomen who’ve used their positions of affect to make a strong impression on points and conflicts which transcend sport,” in keeping with a Laureus assertion.
Utilizing his platform
Concurrently equaling Michael Schumacher’s file of seven F1 world championships, Hamilton was a robust voice in opposition to police brutality and racial injustice within the aftermath of George Floyd’s dying in Minneapolis.
The Mercedes driver wore a Black Lives Matter helmet with a black racing go well with, whereas additionally taking the knee earlier than every grand prix and inspiring his colleagues to do the identical. His automobile was painted black as an announcement of the staff’s dedication to variety.
In consequence, Hamilton — who collectively gained the Sportsman of the Yr Award final 12 months with Lionel Messi — was awarded the inaugural Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Yr Award for 2021 “for his involvement within the combat in opposition to racism.”
“This previous 12 months has been extremely tough for therefore many, however it has additionally been heartening to see the ability of our collective voices spark new conversations and alter,” Hamilton mentioned.
“The impression of every one in all you who’ve stood up, is so inspiring, so I wish to thanks. Please hold combating, hold shining your mild.
“The worldwide rising to handle the longstanding challenge of systemic racism and inequality in our society has been monumental, however we should proceed to combat
“We should all see ourselves as liable for making optimistic change in our world, and maintain ourselves accountable, in order that the guarantees of final 12 months flip in to motion. I actually consider that collectively, we’ll get there, and so I stand with you as we push forwards.”
Capping off historical past
Alongside Hamilton, Rafael Nadal additionally had an historic 2020.
In June, the Spaniard gained his thirteenth French Open title, equaling Roger Federer’s all-time file of 20 profession grand slam victories within the course of.
In recognition, Nadal was named Laureus’ Sportman of the Yr for 2020, his fourth Laureus award.
“I’ve had some superb rivals: the remainder of the sportsmen most likely deserve the trophy the identical as me, however this was the 12 months for me and I can not be happier,” the 34-year-old mentioned.
“Profitable the French Open and equaling the twentieth grand slam of Roger Federer has been an unforgettable second. It means loads to equal my nice rival, however on the similar time, my nice good friend. It is one thing very particular after all of the historical past we have now had collectively on and off courtroom,” added Nadal.
“The pandemic that we face is one thing unprecedented and I wish to ship a message of assist to all of the households which have suffered or misplaced any individual.”