Lewis Hamilton hits out at Formula One for remaining silent on George Floyd's death
Six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has criticised his sport for its silence on the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white US police officer knelt on his neck.
London: Six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has criticised his sport for its silence on the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white US police officer knelt on his neck.
The death in Minneapolis triggered a wave of outrage and violent protests in the United States.
Hamilton, Formula One’s first black world champion, spends much of his time in America and spoke out on the issue in an Instagram story on Sunday.
“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you are the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” wrote the Mercedes driver.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
In a second post, Hamilton added: “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.”
Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, who will cross to McLaren at the end of the season, said Floyd’s death was “a disgrace” and called for unity against racism.
“Racism is toxic and needs to be addressed not with violence or silence but with unity and action,” the Australian wrote on Instagram.
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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.
McLaren driver Lando Norris, Hamilton’s compatriot, was one of those who did comment, adding a line to his profile on the Twitch streaming platform that said “sign the BLM petitions #BLACKLIVESMATTER”.
Canadian Nicholas Latifi, who is due to drive for Williams this season, said on Twitter ‘This has to stop #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.”
Hamilton has spoken out before about the lack of diversity in motor racing.
“There really is the most minimal diversity within this sport and I really somehow want to be a part of shape-shifting that with Formula One,” he said a year ago.
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Indian racing driver Jehan Daruvala in February made headlines after Formula 1 team Red Bull Racing inducted him into their junior programme.
Hamilton was also quickest in both practice sessions on Friday, finishing ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in all three.
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