AP Names Naomi Osaka And LeBron James As Athletes Of The Year

Four-time NBA Champion LeBron James and three-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka have earned athlete of the year honors from the Associated Press. The two have been recognized for their contributions both on the court and off the court.

While much of the tennis world has been affected by the pandemic, Osaka was able to send a message through her PPE. Walking into each of her matches during the U.S. Open, Osaka donned face masks with the names of police brutality victims written across the front. She went on to win the U.S. Open title against Victoria Azarenka. Osaka also partnered with her sister to launch a manga comic book series.

“She ignited a conversation on social justice, the results of which were bigger than tennis, larger than sports, and in doing so raised the bar for all those who want to leverage the gifts and talents we have to make a difference in our world," 12-time Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King said.

Meanwhile, Jame has been using his status as a public figure to inspire change as well. Off the court, James has made headlines by launching his More Than A Vote organization and announcing the development of his "House 330" community center. On the court, James won his fourth NBA Championship and his fourth NBA Finals MVP. Not to mention, James recently interviewed former President Barack Obama on The Shop and he is also preparing to release Space Jam 2.

As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, James will seek his fifth NBA Championship and another MVP award. Osaka will continue to work towards her first French Open and Wimbledon titles.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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