The William Hill Sports Book of the Year award is dedicated to rewarding excellence in sports writing and was first awarded in 1989. This year, 2021, the prize for winning the award will be £30,000. The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award is the world’s longest established and most valuable literary sports-writing prize. The winning author will receive £30,000 and a trophy. Shortlisted authors receive £3,000 cash and a leather-bound copy of their book.
Through the prism of sport and conversations with its legends, including Usain Bolt, Adam Goodes, Thierry Henry, Michael Johnson, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Makhaya Ntini, Naomi Osaka and Hope Powell, Michael Holding explains how racism dehumanises people; how it works to achieve that end; how it has been ignored by history and historians; and what it is like to be treated differently just because of the colour of your skin. Rarely can a rain delay in a cricket match have led to anything like the moment when Holding spoke out in the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter protests about the racism he has suffered and has seen all around him throughout his life. But as he spoke, he sought not only to educate but to propose a way forward that inspired so many. Within minutes, he was receiving calls from famous sports stars from around the world offering to help him to spread the message further. Now, in Why We Kneel, How We Rise, Holding shares his story together with those of some of the most iconic athletes in the world. He delivers a powerful and inspiring message of hope for the future and a vision for change, and takes you through history to understand the racism of today. He adds: 'To say I was surprised at the volume of positive feedback I received from around the world after my comments on Sky Sports is an understatement. I came to realise I couldn't just stop there; I had to take it forward - hence the book, as I believe education is the way forward.'
- Browns Books Synopsis
When we start the process of reading for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, we sometimes only have five or six books entered. It is like the early stages of the racing season, when every horse just might be a Derby winner, according to its owner, trainer and jockey, but as each one appears on a racecourse it has to be judged against the other contenders and either eliminated from, or promoted up, the list of potential champions. No matter which way it goes, our ultimate winner will always be an over-achieving, richly deserving sporting champion.