Lewis Hamilton is set to receive the award for game changer of the year at GQ’s Men of the Year Awards.
The annual awards are set to take place virtually on Thursday, due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Lewis marking his award win in GQ’s upcoming January/February issue.
The honour comes as the Formula One ace won his seventh world championship earlier this month, which saw him equalling Michael Schumacher’s F1 record.
Lewis was seen making a statement on the track in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, first being seen taking the knee and then wearing a T-shirt with the slogan ‘arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor’ – a Black medical worker who was shot and killed in her home during a police raid.
It led to F1 bosses banning drivers promoting political slogans during races, but Lewis has vowed to ‘keep the momentum going’ and says the move won’t put him off doing the same again.
‘If I believe it is important enough, I will. I will do it again,’ he told the publication.
‘Every weekend that I arrive we have the spotlight on us and every weekend there is an opportunity to raise awareness.’
‘We don’t live in a time when everything is ok, and I remember as I went through the day, I was like, “I’ve got to win this race. I can’t come second and wear this top,”‘ Lewis explained, adding that he was ‘racing my heart out’ to win.
He continued: ‘I put that shirt on and in the 70 years of our sport, no-one’s ever stood up there for anything but themselves and I was standing up there for someone else.’
Lewis, who says he first experienced racism when he was five years old, admits he would ‘suppress a lot of things’ after always being told by his dad to ‘do your talking on the track’, but now he feels like he ‘cannot stay silent’.
‘If we all stay silent, it will continue for generations. I look at my niece and nephew and do not want them to experience what I experienced,’ he insisted.
Speaking of Lewis’ game changer award, GQ’s editor Dylan Jones praised the sports star and recognised his efforts in calling out racial injustice and inequality in society.
Jones said: ‘Despite winning more races than anyone else across an impressive 14 seasons in Formula One, it’s Lewis Hamilton’s actions off the circuit that make him GQ’s Game Changer Of The Year.’
GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2020 in association with Hugo Boss is available to view via British GQ’s YouTube channel on Thursday at 8pm.
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