Cavallo’s coming out and Hamilton’s allyship on British LGBT Awards shortlists

The global impact made by Josh Cavallo’s coming out story in football and the Progress Pride helmet worn by Lewis Hamilton in F1 are recognised in the shortlists for the 2022 British LGBT Awards.

Now in their eighth year, the Awards celebrate the achievements and advances made by LGBTQ+ people and allies over the previous 12 months, with a focus on the UK but with representation from around the world in several categories.

Adelaide United left-back Cavallo – who made headlines worldwide in October 2021 when he spoke for the first time about being gay in men’s professional football – is among 10 nominees for Sports Personality.

Olympic gold-medal-winning diver Tom Daley, a previous winner in the same category, and Paralympic champion canoeist Emma Wiggs are also shortlisted for Sports Personality following their triumphs at Tokyo 2020.

Meanwhile, the rainbow helmet in the colours of the Progress Pride flag worn by Lewis Hamilton while driving for F1 champions Mercedes in the three grands prix that concluded the 2021 season in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi is up for the ‘Media Moment’ award.

Hamilton himself is nominated for Celebrity Ally having spoken in support of LGBTQ+ rights in and around the races in the Middle East and also the Hungarian GP, while Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp – who has used his influence to urge Liverpool fans to refrain from homophobic chanting while again championing Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign – is a contender in that category too.

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp explained why he is a proud supporter of the Rainbow Laces campaign with LFC Women defender Meikayla Moore in November

At the 2021 event, Wolves and England defender Conor Coady was the winner of a special Football Ally award, while two-time Olympic gold medallist in boxing Nicola Adams was named Role Model of the Year, having previously picked up two separate Sports Personality awards.

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Wales rugby legend Gareth Thomas, the anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out, and Sophie Cook – the first out trans woman to work in the Premier League – are among the recipients from sport to have been honoured at past ceremonies.

The full list of nominees for the 2022 Sports Personality award are:

Alana Smith – one of the first out non-binary athletes to compete at an Olympic Games, Smith represented USA in street skateboarding at Tokyo 2020. They wrote on Instagram after competing: „For the first time in my entire life, I’m proud of the person I’ve worked to become.“

Beth Mead – the England forward is enjoying a great season with current table-toppers Arsenal and recently equalled the WSL’s all-time assists record. In October, she became the first woman to score a hat-trick for the Lionesses at Wembley and was nominated for the DIVA Sports Award earlier in 2021.

Caster Semenya – the two-time Olympic 800m champion was not permitted to defend her title at Tokyo 2020 as a result of World Athletics rules that affect athletes with DSDs (differences of sex development). Semenya was the most high-profile case, and she refused to take drugs to artificially reduce her natural testosterone levels, saying: „For me, it’s not about being at the Olympics. It’s being healthy and running good times.“

19 June 2021, Bavaria, Regensburg: Athletics: Caster Semenya runs in the field. The two-time 800-metre Olympic champion from South Africa once again missed out on qualifying for the Summer Games in Tokyo during her surprising start in Regensburg. Photo by: Stefan Puchner/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Image: Caster Semenya told the New York Times in December that ‘my head remains high’ after she was barred from defending her 800m title at the Olympics

Colin Jackson – the former world-record holder in 110m and 60m hurdles, and two-time world champion, Jackson took on a new challenge in ITV’s Dancing On Ice at the age of 54 and made the top three, even claiming a perfect set of ’10’ scores from each of the show’s judges in both dances in the final.

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Demi Stokes – the Manchester City left-back was part of the Great Britain squad that competed at Tokyo 2020. She is expecting a baby in June with her partner Katie Harrington – they shared the news via Instagram – and has discussed their relationship in interviews on BBC Sport and The Athletic.

Emma Wiggs – the paracanoeist took her Paralympic career medal tally to three in Tokyo, winning gold in the VL2 category and adding a KL2 silver to follow on from the title she claimed in Rio. Over half of the 36 out LGBTQ+ athletes who took part in the Paralympics took home medals, according to Outsports.com.

Great Britain's Emma Wiggs celebrates winning the gold medal in the Women's Va'a Single 200m - VL2 Final A at the Sea Forest Waterway during day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Friday September 3, 2021.
Image: ParalympicsGB’s Emma Wiggs roars with delight after her victory in the VL2 category at Tokyo 2020 last September

Josh Cavallo – when the then 21-year-old Australian posted a coming out video to his social media accounts in October 2021 with the support of his A-League club Adelaide United, his message of authenticity quickly went viral and led to an outpouring of well wishes from fellow footballers and celebrities. Cavallo is currently the only active top-tier out gay player in the men’s professional game.

Laurel Hubbard – the New Zealand weightlifter became a history-maker when she competed in the women’s +87kg at Tokyo 2020. As the first out trans athlete to compete in a gender category different to the one she was assigned at birth, she blazed a trail, telling reporters afterwards that she was thankful to the IOC for „affirming their commitment to the principles of Olympism, and establishing that sport is something for all people“.

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Megan Rapinoe – her two goals in the playoff against Australia helped the US team win bronze in the Olympic women’s soccer tournament in Tokyo, while off the pitch, the 36-year-old continued to fight for equal pay and gender parity in sports, as well as the rights of trans youth and other LGBTQ+ causes.

Tom Daley – now a four-time Olympic medalist, and with the gold that had eluded him in his three previous Games appearances. After winning the 10m synchro title in Tokyo alongside best friend Matty Lee, Daley spoke movingly of his pride at not just being a Team GB athlete but also being an out gay man, a husband, and a father. A vital voice representing LGBTQ+ people in sports, he has just set off on a four-day challenge to raise money for Comic Relief.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 26: Tom Daley of Great Britain with his gold medal won with team mate Matty Lee of Great Britain in the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Diving at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Image: Tom Daley now has a gold medal and three bronze medals from his four appearances at the Olympic Games

The success of ‘Team LGBTQ+’ in both the Olympics and Paralympics at Tokyo 2020 is also marked with a nomination in the ‘Media Moment’ category, alongside Cavallo’s coming out and Hamilton’s helmet livery.

Liverpool FC’s ‘Red Together’ campaign for equality, diversity and inclusion is shortlisted in the Brand & Marketing category, with the club’s ED&I manager Rishi Jain in contention for Business Ally.

Sarah Garrett MBE, the founder of the British LGBT Awards said: „These awards shine a light on those who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the LGBT+ community, during what has been another very challenging 12 months.

„The nominees, which include an exciting mix of famous LGBT+ faces, allies and organisations, have all demonstrated a commitment to advancing LGBT+ rights. The awards will be a huge celebration of our culture.“

The 2022 British LGBT Awards ceremony will be held in London on June 24, with the public invited to cast their votes in selected categories at britishlgbtawards.com.

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