Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were honored with the American Music Award for favorite rap/hip-hop album on Sunday night and accepted the award via satellite, delivering a speech that veered into racial politics.

Macklemore On Trayvon Martin & Racial Profiling

Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, declined accepting his award by listing off dozens of names that he’d like to thank. Instead, he cited the controversial shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., by self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who was later acquitted of first-degree murder.

"Due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it," Macklemore said. "This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers and our fans, and it's time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it."

Macklemore also quoted Martin Luther King Jr., saying, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

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In addition to winning for album The Heist, which featured hits such as “Thrift Shop,” Can’t Hold Us” and “Same Love,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis took home the trophy for favorite rap/hip-hop artist. They’d come into the night with a leading six nominations.

– Chelsea Regan

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