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Hamilton: Speaking out against racism 'about equality, not politics'

  • Published on 05 Jul 2020 22:12
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton says his activism in speaking out against racism is about seeking equality and doesn't involve politics.

Ahead of the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, a majority of drivers took a knee on the starting grid to show their solidarity for the movements that have occurred around the world over the last month.

The Black Lives Matter message has been vocalised in many organisations and leagues with F1 also taking a stance with its #WeRaceAsOne initiative. 

The Mercedes team has also made changes for the 2020 season, changing to a black livery to show their support for the cause, all the while pledging to increase diversity within its team.

Taking to social media after the race in Spielberg, Hamilton insisted that his push for equality does not fall within the lines of politics.

“Today was an important moment for me and all the people out there who are working for and hoping for change for a more equal and just society,” he wrote. “I may get criticism in the media and elsewhere, but this fight is about equality, not politics or promotion.

“To me, it was an emotional and poignant chapter in making F1 a more diverse and inclusive sport. I want a better future for our generation and the ones after us.

“There is so much that needs to be done. No one is perfect but if we all chip in and do our part, we can see change. I truly believe that.

“Thank you to my team for their incredible support and hard work this weekend and thank you all who supported. Let's keep pushing.”

Hamilton was running in second place for much of the Austrian Grand Prix, but was demoted back to third place after he received a time penalty for clashing with Alexander Albon.

Replies (6)

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  • Ugh, right, except it is politics. Equality is a political view, and to enact equality you go through politics. I really dislike this whole "my X isn't political", as if it isn't because it's their viewpoint. BLM is about as unpolitical as the basis around that new watchdogs game what is set around the fall of britain after Brexit. -.-

    • + 4
    • Jul 5 2020 - 22:19
    • f1ski

      Posts: 726

      Agreed

      • + 0
      • Jul 5 2020 - 23:32
    • Agreed. Especially with something like BLM. I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but in America it's as political as it is about equality. Their politics are somewhere between anarchy and communism.

      As for Hamilton... I will give him the benefit of the doubt assuming that he really just woke up to the injustices black people face. But what does bother me is the condescending tone about people who aren't equally passionate as him. I mean... where was this passion the last 14 years for Lewis? He's been a big-time celebrity for a long time. BLM has been around since 2013.

      He said in another interview that he didn't engage in a similar protest to Colin Kaepernick because he was "silenced." I think most people can see pretty clearly what's going on... Whereas in 2016 it was highly controversial to protest in the name of race, today it's trendy, cool, and safe for one's (all-important) personal brand to do so.

      • + 0
      • Jul 6 2020 - 17:55
    • I will give him the benefit of doubt until he turns down participating in the two ME GPs and Chinese GP, the first two being held on tracks built using slave labour in nations renowned for using slaves of all ethnicities, the latter being held in an oppressive nation with concentration camps and with work camps where you aren't even allowed to commit suicide. If he is woke about blm, the first should be a given.

      • + 0
      • Jul 7 2020 - 20:29
    • @Calle how dare you. It's MORE important to focus on isolated incidents of racism in countries that have rule-of-law and where the perpetrators get regularly punished (even if not adequately).

      Why would anyone care about the literal slave workers in Bahrain or China? They have no rights, they have no vote, they have no money, they have no influence. There is nothing to be gained. Of course we could throw Darfur (as I have already done ad nauseam)

      • + 0
      • Jul 8 2020 - 01:59
    • Indeed, a heretic I am and a heretic I will remain. I shall dance around a totem pole built of action man-figurines wearing nothing but a shrimp mask, and for my heresy against the most definitely genuine goodness of the lord I shall be burned at a stake using nothing but small usb-lighters.

      • + 0
      • Jul 8 2020 - 10:56

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