Lewis Hamilton criticizes F1 for staying silent on George Floyd death

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, after the final race of the Formula One Grand Prix season, on December 1, 2019. (AFP)

Six times Formula One motor racing champion Lewis Hamilton has criticized 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 the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” wrote the Mercedes driver.

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A protester shouts in front of a fire during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Los Angeles on May 30, 2020. (AP)

A protester shouts in front of a fire during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Los Angeles on May 30, 2020. (AP)

“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.”

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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.”

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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Last Update: Monday, 01 June 2020 KSA 05:43 - GMT 02:43
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