The 23-year-old was named Laureus Sportswoman of the Year for 2021 after successful her second US Open title, nevertheless it wasn’t simply her success on the court docket that contributed to her claiming the accolade.
After seeing so many of her “position fashions” win the award, Osaka stated it “means lots” to her to have the ability to accumulate it herself.
“Regarding my activism on the court docket, I feel it is necessary to make use of my voice, as a result of for me I really feel like I typically maintain again lots and fear about what individuals assume of me, however you recognize when you have a platform it is essential you utilize it,” she defined.
“Looking forward, my predominant hopes for the longer term could be simply to have helped or impacted as many individuals as I may and, hopefully, be a greater particular person.”
Usually a glitzy, crimson carpet occasion that has earned the nickname the “Oscars of Sport,” this 12 months’s Laureus Awards was staged digitally as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
The awards informed the “inspirational tales of individuals who 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 response to a Laureus assertion.
Using his platform
At the identical time as equaling Michael Schumacher’s report 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 demise 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 automotive was painted black as an announcement of the staff’s dedication to variety.
As a end result, Hamilton — who collectively received the Sportsman of the Year Award final 12 months with Lionel Messi — was awarded the inaugural Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year Award for 2021 “for his involvement within the struggle in opposition to racism.”
“This previous 12 months has been extremely tough for therefore many, nevertheless it has additionally been heartening to see the facility of our collective voices spark new conversations and alter,” Hamilton stated.
“The impression of each one of you who’ve stood up, is so inspiring, so I need to thanks. Please preserve combating, preserve shining your gentle.
“The world rising to handle the longstanding difficulty of systemic racism and inequality in our society has been monumental, however we should proceed to struggle
“We should all see ourselves as answerable for making constructive change in our world, and maintain ourselves accountable, in order that the guarantees of final 12 months flip in to motion. I really imagine that collectively, we are going to 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 received his thirteenth French Open title, equaling Roger Federer’s all-time report of 20 profession grand slam victories within the course of.
In recognition, Nadal was named Laureus’ Sportman of the Year for 2020, his fourth Laureus award.
“I’ve had some superb opponents: 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 stated.
“Winning the French Open and equaling the twentieth grand slam of Roger Federer has been an unforgettable second. It means lots to equal my nice rival, however at the identical time, my nice buddy. It’s one thing very particular after all of the historical past we have now had collectively on and off court docket,” added Nadal.
“The pandemic that we face is one thing unprecedented and I need to ship a message of assist to all of the households which have suffered or misplaced any person.”