To commemorate anti-racist leaders and speakers on the 100th anniversary of the Historic Response in Brazil, Lewis Hamilton’s name featured on the back of Brazilian football club Vasco da Gama’s shirts, in their recent Campeonato Carioca fixture against Sampaio Corrêa.
Hamilton’s name wasn’t the only one to feature on the back of shirts, with Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Jessie Owens having also had their names stitched onto kits.
The Campeonato Carioca fixture took place last Sunday and is the Rio de Janeiro State Championship.
The commemorative kits were a one-off, with all proceeds going to the local Observatorio Racial no Futebol organisation.
This organisation fights against racism in sport, something which continues to be a pressing issue, unfortunately.
Just in Europe alone last weekend, two games were momentarily halted in England and Italy due to a player being racially abused by a fan.
Hamilton spends plenty of time in Brazil and has expressed his love for the South American country several times, with a large portion of the population viewing him as a hero.
In fact, the seven-time World Champion became an honorary Brazilian citizen in 2022, granted to him by the nation’s government and accepted at the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia.
The 39-year-old does a remarkable amount to support diversity and inclusion, with him having launched the Hamilton Commission in 2020 and Mission 44 in 2021.
His name being stitched onto the back of the football kits is a sign that the work he’s doing is being globally recognised, although it should be noted that he actually supports London football club Arsenal.
“I really wanted to fit in – I was the only kid of colour there but I know that the kids all supported someone different – one was Tottenham, one was Man Utd,” Hamilton told Sky Sports in 2022.
“I remember switching between these teams when I was younger and getting home and my sister punching me several times in the arm, beating me and saying ‘You have to support Arsenal’, so I remember at five or six years old that I became a supporter of Arsenal.”