Beckham wins award for multicultural appeal

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The Independent Online

David Beckham lived up to his description as Britain's most famous "black man" last night when he won an ethnic minorities award.

David Beckham lived up to his description as Britain's most famous "black man" last night when he won an ethnic minorities award.

The star was named sporting personality for the year alongside Arsenal's Thierry Henry at the Emmas, multicultural media awards which showcase the successes of diversity in Britain. The award, presented at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, was given a year after a documentary described the England captain as Britain's most famous black man.

As someone who has a tattoo of the gangsta rapper, Tupac Shakur, an array of "bling" jewellery and a collection of hip-hop records, Beckham sports some popular signifiers of "blackness". Bobby Syed, the founder of the Emmas, said: "David Beckham represents everything the Emmas stand for. He's a sportsman who crosses all multi-cultural boundaries and represents a positive message, that all cultures on this island influence our daily lives."

Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ, also picked up two awards at the ceremony. The novel interpretation of the Biblical tale, which sparked anger from Jewish groups who accused Gibson of blaming Jews for Jesus' death, won best film production; its Romanian star Maia Morgenstern was best film actress.

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