Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

Lewis Hamilton criticises F1's 'biggest stars' for silence over death of George Floyd

'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'

Mercedes' Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has criticised his sport for remaining silent on racism. AFP
Mercedes' Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has criticised his sport for remaining silent on racism. AFP

World champion Lewis Hamilton criticised the "biggest of stars" in "white-dominated" Formula One for failing to speak out against racism as protests erupted across the United States.

The Mercedes driver warned "I know who you are and I see you" as he accused his fellow drivers of "staying silent" following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during his arrest in Minneapolis.

The videotaped incident has triggered unrest in several cities and led to an outpouring of condemnation from top athletes, including Michael Jordan and Serena Williams.

"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," Hamilton wrote on Instagram.

"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 can't stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you."

Hamilton, the six-time world champion, said he supported only peaceful protesters, not those who have looted stores and set fire to buildings.

But he said: "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."

McLaren driver Lando Norris 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 last year.

Basketball legend Jordan joined a chorus of voices from the NBA, NFL and other US sports demanding change for black Americans.

French footballer Marcus Thuram and England international Jadon Sancho called for justice for Floyd after scoring in Germany's Bundesliga.

Updated: June 1, 2020 10:35 AM

SHARE

SHARE

Editor's Picks
THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email
Most Popular