Serena Williams delivers an inspiring address upon receiving the Jackie Robinson Sports Award

Serena Williams delivers an inspiring address upon receiving the Jackie Robinson Sports Award

 Will Smith secured his first major accolade since the aftermath of his infamous Oscars incident, clinching the Outstanding Actor award at the 54th Annual NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

Although absent from the ceremony, the 54-year-old actor was honored for his performance in the historical action thriller "Emancipation." Smith's portrayal had been overlooked by both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, and he faces a ban from attending the upcoming Oscars.

In his stead, Janelle Monae, 37, accepted the award on Smith's behalf, expressing, "Will Smith could not be with us this evening. So we accept this on your behalf. Congratulations."

Following the announcement of his win, Smith took to Instagram to express his gratitude to the NAACP, stating, "I am absolutely humbled by this!!"

Aside from Smith's unexpected triumph, Serena Williams, 41, stole the spotlight with her compelling speech upon receiving the Jackie Robinson Sports Award.

Radiant in a black velvet dress with a sultry thigh-high slit and sheer bodice, Williams accepted the award from Kerry Washington. She commenced her speech with a light-hearted jest about her tennis championship drought, acknowledging the support of her friend presenting the award.

The Jackie Robinson Sports Award recognizes individuals not only for their athletic prowess but also for their commitment to social justice, civil rights, and community engagement. Williams praised the NAACP for their continued efforts in advancing change across various crucial sectors.

She expressed gratitude for being honored alongside esteemed athletes and icons and shared her awe at being surrounded by artists whose work has profoundly impacted her. Williams concluded her speech by acknowledging Jackie Robinson's enduring legacy and thanking the NAACP for the privilege of receiving the award.

Williams' heartfelt address was just one among many poignant speeches of the evening. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union also delivered a moving acceptance speech as they received the prestigious President's Award for their support of the LGBTQ+ community.

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