Two athletes in particular have pushed boundaries within society and their sport.
The question remains, what is measured more when it comes to awarding the honour of SPOTY, sporting achievements or the athletes persona?
When it comes to the achievements within sport, Lewis Hamilton has done it all. The British F1 Driver is soon to add another title to his current six, which would equal Michael Schumacher’s record for the most in F1 History. Such an accolade should turn heads, but even former professionals of the motorsport have questioned the lack of competition that Hamilton has faced this season, winning 8 of the 12 races so far this season. However, that isn’t an issue for Hamilton to worry about, the ability to race at the highest level not only takes a good car, but to also have a driver who is able to control it and manage the technicalities of the car.
Hamilton’s push of the BLM campaign within F1 has also been a staggering movement to watch unfold. In a sport that lacks the participation of those from ethnic minority backgrounds, Hamilton has done his upmost to use his platform to spread awareness amongst drivers of the inequalities many people face in the world.
His closest contender to winning the SPOTY award is Marcus Rashford. The Manchester United forward has been in the spotlight on and off the pitch, all for the right reasons. Rashford created a campaign which is being implemented to tackle child hunger within the UK. His work with retailers and other celebrities has helped provide youngsters, who are in poverty-stricken homes, the chance to have a free meal. Many restaurants and businesses up and down the UK have pledged to join Rashford’s movement of #endchildfoodpoverty.
Meanwhile on the pitch, Marcus Rashford produced another magnificent night in Paris, where his second half strike saw United take home all three points against PSG in the Champions League. To then top it off, on Wednesday he came off the bench to score a hat-trick in 18 minutes against RB Leipzig, which lead to United winning 5-0 to remain top of their group.
This contest is definitely a two horse race, no matter who wins, both men are testaments to their sports and to who they are as humans. Hats off to both of you, as they’re equally deserving of the award.
Lewis Hamilton 11/8
Marcus Rashford 5/4 – My pick.