Lewis Hamilton dedicated sealing pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday to Chadwick Boseman after the Black Panther star passed away after a private four-year battle with colon cancer.
The Brit celebrated securing his 93rd career pole after a masterclass performance at Spa-Francorchamps by doing the Wakanda salute – which became synonymous with Boseman after it appeared in the popular Marvel film the Black Panther.
Actor Boseman, who was 43, passed away at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side.
‘It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,’ the family said.
‘A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much.’
The family revealed several of Boseman’s recent films, including Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, were filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.’
And a number of sporting names have taken to social media to pay tribute to the 43-year-old, with Hamilton earlier leading the way in sharing messages for the actor.
‘I woke up today to the sad news, our super hero passed away,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘I’m so grateful I got to meet you brother. Thank you for all you have done for us.
‘Rest in Power, you were the best of us and will never be forgotten. Love, light and prayers I send to you and your family.’
Premier League club Arsenal paid their respects to the Black Panther actor, sharing a picture of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wearing a face mask from the film.
‘Rest in peace, Chadwick Boseman,’ the club wrote. ‘An inspiration whose impact went far beyond film. Your legacy will live on. #WakandaForever’.
The 31-year-old Arsenal striker also took to Instagram to pay his respects to the American actor. ‘We all feeling it!! may you Rest in Peace. You gave us so much Hope and strength thanks for everything’.
And as the Gabon international opened the scoring for the Gunners in the Community Shield against Liverpool, he performed the classic Wakanda salute to show his respects.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James took to Instagram to pass on his condolences to Boseman and his family. ‘Rest In Paradise King! #TheHellWith2020 #FCancer,’ he wrote.
We all feeling it!! may you Rest in Peace You gave us so much Hope and strength thanks for everything #wakandaforever 🙅🏽♂️ @chadwickboseman
Rest In Paradise King 👑! #TheHellWith2020 #FCancer
Rest In Peace 🕊🤍…
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe each shared a photograph of Boseman on Instagram, writing ‘Rest in Peace’.
Former Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge paid his respects to Boseman, and said his films will inspire young children the world over.
‘Rest in eternal paradise @chadwickboseman. You’ll be remembered forever for your greatness.
‘You gave kids around the world hope that they can be superheroes especially young black ones. I hope 2020 is anomaly man. We’ve lost too many #ripchadwickboseman’.
Boxer Chris Eubank Jr shared an image of himself with the actor at the Black Panther premiere as the 30-year-old paid tribute to the star.
‘I had the pleasure of meeting Chadwick Boseman at the Black Panther premiere in London,’ he wrote.
‘He was a gentleman & an inspiration to many, particularly us people of colour & a generation of youngsters who looked at him & finally understood “WE CAN BE HEROES TOO” Rest In Peace Sir’.
The actor had been known for playing real-life figures, including professional baseball player Jackie Robinson in 2013 biopic, 42, James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up, and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 2017’s Marshall.
But his most memorable role was his 2018 performance as T’Challa, king of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda and the crime fighter known as Black Panther, in the first major studio superhero movie featuring a predominantly African-American cast.
The film went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year and was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture. It won three Academy Awards – in the best original score, best costume design and best production design categories.
Boseman originated the Black Panther film role two years earlier in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, and reprised the part twice more in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.