Lewis Hamilton expresses his disappointment with the silence of Formula One as the world stand up against racism and injustice and oppression of minorities following the death of George Floyd in the hands of US police.
Not until after Lewis Hamilton criticized the entire community of Formula One for not coming out openly to kick against the unlawful killing of the American George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer, nobody in this particular sports industry came out to show or express concerns. The six-time world champion felt he is left alone as the only black in a white-dominated sport. As it is popularly known, the white officer knelt on the neck of Floyd on the 25th of last month for over eight minutes as he told them “I can’t breathe.”
Since the incident happened, a lot of other sports figures have called for the ruling of justice over the sudden death of George Floyd. A non-far-fetched example is the “Justice for George Floyd” shirt shown by Jason Sancho in Borrusia Dortmund win over SC Paderborn 07 a few days ago. This statement was revealed by the English young star (Sancho) when he was celebrating the second of his hat-trick on this particular day.
Lewis Hamilton on his first related post on his official Instagram account said: “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. 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.”
The Formula One living legend (Hamilton) continued on his second post: “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.”
Mercedes, the Constructors Hamilton drives for, has come out on Twitter to show support for their superstar: “We stand with you, Lewis. Tolerance is an elementary principle of our team and we are enriched by diversity in all its forms. We welcome and encourage people from all races, cultures, religions, philosophies and lifestyles, and condemn every form of discrimination as we work together to drive change forward. We are deeply saddened by the recent developments and hope for a De-escalation soon.”
Formula One Drivers Condemn Racism by Supporting the #BlackLivesMatter Trend on Social Media
As earlier stated, the two Instagram posts made by Hamilton were influential in prompting some Formula One drivers to come out publicly on their social media page to condemn racism.
Charles Leclerc (a motorsport driver for Ferrari): “To be completely honest, I felt out of place and uncomfortable sharing my thoughts on social media about the whole situation and this is why I haven’t expressed myself earlier than today. And I was completely wrong. I still struggle to find the words to describe the atrocity of some videos I’ve seen on the internet. Racism needs to be met with actions, not silence. Please be actively participating, engaging and encouraging others to spread awareness. It is our responsibilities to speak out against injustice. Don’t remain silent. I stand #BlackLivesMatter.”
George Russell, a racing driver for the Williams team, echoed every word of Charles Leclerc in a bid to support the fight against racism: “We all have a voice to speak up for what’s right- and until now I didn’t know how to use mine in this situation. To echo @Charles_Leclerc’s words, I just felt out of place sharing my thoughts on these atrocities publicly. I struggles to comprehend what I’m seeing in the news and on social media right now- and honestly, I still can’t find the words to express how it makes me feel. But ultimately, no matter how uncomfortable it may be to speak out, silence achieves nothing. Now more than ever, we need peace and equality in this world. It’s time we all stand together and kick racism out of our societies for good. Use your voice, spread awareness as far as you can. We are all responsible for ending the injustice. #BlackLivesMatter.”
Daniel Ricciardo, a Renault driver that is expected to switch to McLaren at the end of this new Formula One season, said on his Instagram page that Racism can only be defeated through unity and action (and not through violence or silence): “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.”