One of the most accomplished drivers in the history of Formula 1 racing is disappointed in his peers’ silence as people in the United States (and around the globe) continue to protest injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Lewis Hamilton, the only black driver in the history of F1 and the six-time defending world champion, posted a message to his Instagram story Sunday apparently calling out the entire F1 community. Below is his complete message.
I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice. 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 our so-called leaders make change. This is not just America, this is the U.K., 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, 35, is from Stevenage, England. He also acknowledged his Black British father on Sunday, his dad’s 60th birthday.
Floyd died May 25 at age 46 after his neck was pinned to the ground by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. The cop, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder a few days later. Prominent sports figures in the United States are among those who have reacted.
Hamilton has won 84 Grand Prix races during his F1 career, the second all-time behind Michael Schumacher’s 91. The 2020 F1 season remains postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.