Hatian-Japanese Naomi Osaka has been named Laureus Sportswoman of the Year 2021
The Australian Open champion won her second US Open title last year.
Laureus hailed Osaka’s “powerful statement” at the US Open to support the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign as she highlighted racial injustice against Africans by wearing different face masks at her matches bearing the names of African-Americans who were killed by police
“I think it is important to use my voice,” said 23-year-old Osaka. “Because for me I feel like I often hold back a lot and worry about what people think of me, but you know if you have a platform it is very important you use it.”
Tennis dominated the digital awards ceremony in Seville as American great Billie Jean King received the Lifetime Achievement award.
German soccer champions Bayern Munich, who won last season’s Champions League, were named the Team of the Year.
Britain’s Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton claimed the inaugural Athlete Advocate of the Year Award for his involvement in the fight against racism.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes won the Breakthrough of the Year Award after helping Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 to their first Super Bowl appearance and win in 50 years, at the age of 24.
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