On Thursday Lewis Hamilton has officially been made an honorary citizen of Brazil, and reactions are pouring in!
Earlier this year, a bill seeking to grant Lewis Hamilton the title of honorary citizen of Brazil has been forwarded to the board of directors of the Chamber of Deputies.
In the document Figueiredo stated that Hamilton should receive honorary citizenship following his post-race celebration with the Brazilian flag at the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, which he described as a “gesture of respect for the memory of the greatest Brazilian driver” Ayrton Senna. He added the celebration had “repercussions on each and every one of our citizens”.
Yesterday (Thursday) the lower house of parliament has passed the bill and Lewis has been officially made and honorary citizen of Brazil.
When he received the news, Lewis took to Instagram to express how much it means to him.
“Today I was granted honorary citizenship to one of my favourite places in the world,” the Briton wrote.
“I don’t really have the words right now. Thank you Brazil, I love you, I can’t wait to see you again.”
Brazilian Football legend Pelé, 81 immediately responded to the post.
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“Congratulations, Lewis,” he wrote.
“I am happy that, from now on, I can consider you a countryman.”
The title of honorary citizen will be presented to Lewis in a formal ceremony which will be scheduled by the board of directors of the Chamber of Deputies.
In his report, Congressman Jhonatan de Jesus of the Republicans party highlighted Lewis’ “deep and strongly emotional” relationship with Brazil and said that he deserves the honour.
“His gestures add to his indisputable sporting merit,” he continued.
“His public positions in support of relevant issues such as the environment, animal rights, Black people, women and human rights must also be remembered and highlighted,” de Jesus concluded.
The whole debate regarding the bill lasted for around 10 minutes, and was largely symbolic, but there were some who were critical of it.
“I recognize Lewis Hamilton’s achievements… But this bill makes clear that we are not addressing Brazil’s structural problems as a priority,” said Tiago Mitraud of the New Party.