Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton is noticing those in the racing world not speaking up in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis.
Hamilton issued statements via Instagram over the weekend, saying “I see those of you who are staying silent” and that “the way minorities are treated has to change.”
“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” the six-time world champion wrote. “Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of color there yet I stand alone. I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you …
“I do not stand with those looting and burning buildings but those who are protesting peacefully. There can be no peace until or 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.”
Hamilton, the only black driver in Formula 1, has long been outspoken on social issues that may seem controversial to some because of his status as a minority in the white-dominated world of major auto racing and his success across the top level of motorsports. Hamilton said in 2017 that he thought the movement started by Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players was “awesome” and said he supported their decisions to protest.
Mercedes: ‘We stand with you, Lewis’
Hamilton’s Mercedes team issued a statement of support for its star driver Monday morning.
“We stand with you Lewis,” the team said. “Tolerance is an elementary principle of our team and we are enriched by diversity in all its forms. We welcome and encourage people from all races, cultures, religions, philosophies and lifestyles, and condemn every form of discrimination as we work together to drive change forward. We are deeply saddened by the recent developments and hope for a de-escalation soon.”
As Hamilton spoke out over the weekend, Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc and McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz also made statements.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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