Lewis Hamilton Hits Out at ‘silent’ Formula One

Reigning Formula One world champion, Lewis Hamilton has hit out at the sport for remaining ‘silent’ in the face of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck last week in Minneapolis, USA.

Floyd’s death has triggered mass protests across America and rest of the world as racism continues to be an issue yet several stars across sport remained silent, until Hamilton made an Instagram post blasting his F1 colleagues, of which he described as a “white dominated sport”.

Hamilton wrote; “I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice.

“Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone. I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you cant stand alongside us. Just know I know who you… are and I see you,”

The six-time world champion then praised those who are protesting peacefully and called for change, saying; “I do not stand with those looting and burning buildings but those who are protesting peacefully. There can be no peace until our so called leaders make change.

“This is not just America, this is the UK, this is Spain, this is Italy and all over. The way minorities are treated has to change, how you educate those in your country of equality, racism, classism and that we are all the same! We are not born with racism and hate in our hearts, it is taught by those we look up to.”

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo soon iterated his support in an Instagram post about how “saddened” he is by the events in America and described what is happening in society as “a disgrace.”

In full, Ricciardo wrote; ‘Seeing the news the last few days has left me saddened, what happened to George Floyd and what continues to happen in today’s society is a disgrace. Now more than ever we need to stand together, unified together.

Racism is toxic and needs to be addressed not with violence or silence but with unity and action. We need to stand up, we need to be a WE. Let’s be better people. It’s 2020 ffs. Black lives matter.’

F1 in fact is working to improve its diversity as the sport laid out as part of its first ever corporate strategy, which was unveiled back in January.

 

Several Drivers Come Out in Support for Black Lives Matter Movement

Other F1 drivers soon followed suit across various social media platforms with Nicholas Latifi posting a simple message on his Twitter account expressing his desire for racial injustice to stop.

Charles Leclerc meanwhile spoke of his discomfort in expressing his thoughts in a three tweet message, as he urged people to ‘Don’t be silent.’

McLaren’s Lando Norris spoke on his Twitter feed of how the power that he has as an athlete ‘to lead and inspire so many.’ whist also standing up ‘for what’s right.’ as he asked his followers to take action. 

George Russell meanwhile spoke of his difficulty in speaking up because  he ‘didn’t know how to use mine in this situation.’ as he echoed Leclerc’s words on the challenge of speaking publicly about such a topical issue.

Carlos Sainz meanwhile feels that the world has ‘gone back in time’ as he spoke of F1 as a sport that works ‘together in great harmony to entertain everyone around the globe and spread a message of sportsmanship and unity.’ as ‘Diversity pushes us forward,’

 

‘Work still to do’

Zhou

As F1 battles with challenges of speaking out on political social issues and embracing diversity in life, a look down the junior categories suggests that motorsport still has work to do in terms of improving opportunities for drivers of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity (BAME)

Red Bull however has one of F1’s most diverse young driver academies with four BAME drivers amongst those on their books, whilst Renault boasts China’s Guanyu Zhou who is tipped to challenge for Formula Two (F2) title this season.

Formula Three and Formula Four plus other lower junior categories however  need to do more to attract those of minority ethnicity to race in those series, particularly given that F2 currently have seven BAME drivers  set to start the 2020 season next month.

There is therefore plenty of work to be done across motorsport and especially FIA to help nurture young BAME talent, especially with Lewis Hamilton a leading figure in overcoming racial challenges to become one of the most successful in motorsport.

*If you want to make a difference then please visit Black Lives Matter by clicking HERE.

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