TOP 10 - SPORTS PERSONALITIES 2022
One of the best young players in world football, Bukayo Saka is a versatile Arsenal and England player. The 20-year-old FA Cup winner has suffered well-documented and shocking forms of discrimination, but has stood up in the face of it all to speak about the importance of his heritage while decrying acts of deplorable racism and urging social media platforms to act as an all-round shining example.
The fastest woman in British history, Dina Asher-Smith is a European and World champion sprinter. The 100m and 200m athlete has used her platform to speak candidly and honestly about her experiences of racism in order to advance the bringing about of real change with the belief that expressing yourself is a fundamental human right.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a force to be reckoned with both on and off the pitch – the England footballer is turning heads by making his mark on the fashion industry. A regular advocate for staying true to yourself, Calvert-Lewin has regularly spoken out against racism and written candidly about his hopes for a society free from discrimination. The 25-year-old has also used his platform to support Football For Change and help disadvantaged young people into education and employment opportunities.
KARENJEET KAUR BAINS
The first Sikh female powerlifter to represent Great Britain, Karenjeet Kaur Bains is using her platform to drive real change and smash stereotypes, inspiring other women like her to break down barriers. The Commonwealth champion, who is also a qualified chartered accountant, speaks openly about her faith and the importance of using her full name when competing.
A World and indoor champion heptathlete, British record-holder and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Katarina Johnson-Thompson is known for her excellence on the track and in the field. And the two-time Olympian not only has an impressive athletics resume, she also regularly stands up to support the community and advance rights by being open and honest about her experiences of racism.
One of Britain’s greatest ever athletes, Sir Mo Farah is a multiple Olympic, World and European champion. The dedicated family man’s achievements, though, are a far cry from his humble beginnings in Somalia, arriving in London as an eight-year-old speaking very little English. Indeed, the 5,000m and 10,000m champion recently revealed he was brought to the UK illegally as a child and forced to work as a domestic servant – given the name Mohamed Farah by those who flew him over from Djibouti when his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin.
Mohamed Salah is one of the most prolific forwards in European football and a Champions League and Premier League winner with Liverpool. Away from his stunning football exploits, the Egyptian superstar has become a leading figure for Muslim people around the world advocating for women’s equality in the Middle East, while displaying his faith prominently on the world stage. Salah‘s humanitarian exploits are simply incredible, too.
Natasha Jonas is a World champion boxer who secured the WBO super-welterweight title in February. The first female British boxer to qualify for an Olympic Games, Jonas has spoken out about racism and discrimination. Earlier this year, the Olympic bronze medallist led an in-conversation in her home city with a panel of inspirational speakers for Liverpool Against Racism, sharing her experiences to help others.
A professional cyclist, Nicholas Dlamini was the only Black rider in a peloton of more than 170 at the Tour de France last year. In 2022, there were no Black athletes on the start line of the famous race and Dlamini has spoken out about the lack of diversity in cycling – stating the sport has a long way to go in order to be accessible and inclusive for all.