Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2020

“I was completely wrong”: F1 drivers respond to Hamilton’s call to challenge racism

2020 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Eight Formula 1 drivers have responded to Lewis Hamilton’s call for the sport’s stars to condemn racial injustice following the death of George Floyd.

Yesterday Hamilton wrote that no one in “white dominated” Formula 1 had spoken up over the killing, which has provoked furious protests across America. “I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone,” he wrote.

Less than 24 hours later, several of Hamilton’s peers have addressed the subject on social media, without referring to his comments.

“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 express [sic] myself earlier than today,” wrote Charles Leclerc in a post title ‘Black Lives Matter’.

“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.”

George Russell said he echoed Leclerc’s view. “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,” he wrote.

“To echo Charles Leclerc’s words, I just felt out of place sharing my thoughts on these atrocities publicly. I struggle 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.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“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’re all responsible for ending the injustice.”

Alexander Albon said he felt it was no longer sufficient to stay silent on the matter.

Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2020
Albon said he’d been “hesitant” to speak up
“Truthfully, I’ve been quite hesitant having a voice around George Floyd’s death because I felt I wasn’t in the position to talk,” he wrote.

“I grew up in a very privileged way, shielded away from any form of racism, whether it was at school, in my neighbourhood or racing. I never experienced it and so I don’t really know how to put it into words. But i came to realise that that was part of the problem, staying silent wasn’t good enough and everyone should be able to experience how I grew up.

“With that being said, it’s never too late to change and to address what’s wrong, this is about justice and to stand up for racial equality. What happened to George Floyd is inexcusable, it’s a final straw for many and it’s our duty to reform and create a better world for all of us.

“So how can we help? One way is being vocal and spreading awareness, we can also donate, but more than anything, don’t tolerate any form of racism, whether it be at home with your parents, at school with your friends or at work with your colleagues.”

Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Daniel Ricciardo, Nicholas Latifi and Antonio Giovinazzi also shared expressions of support and condemnations of racism.

“Seeing the news the last few days has left me saddened,” said Ricciardo. “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.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

123 comments on ““I was completely wrong”: F1 drivers respond to Hamilton’s call to challenge racism”

  1. It just takes someone to lead it doesn’t make those that follow lessor people.

    1. Some of these statements are very impressive and show a much more thorough understanding than I expected. Leclerc and albon in particular. I did fear a whole bunch of PR speak and empty words, but I’m pleasantly surprised.

      1. It’s probably a side effect of all these drivers being at home and not shielded by a PR rep who would be looking at the problem as a ‘both sides’ thing to prevent attacks, reprisals and ‘negative brand imagery’.

        1. Yes, that part of this lockdown has been a positive IMO, we get to see drivers decide more stuff on their own, and we get (a bit) closer to the real people they are @optimaximal

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      1st June 2020, 14:45

      Leading? Looks more like bullying to me, well perhaps not bullying but Leclerc and co have been strong-armed into making a statement. Armani’s latest brand ambassador can’t be made to look racist on his first week in the job can he? Not a good look, best jump on the bandwagon!

      It’s all rather crass isn’t it.

      1. Indeed, I don’t hear Lewis or any drivers condemning Lee Rigby’s killers

        1. James Norris
          1st June 2020, 15:13

          Lee Rigby wasn’t killed due to racial undertones

          1. William Jones
            1st June 2020, 19:39

            Look, I think their argument is awful, it’s typical Trumpian sperging of word vomit, and the by rote way they are spewing it tells me that they have been told to repeat it everywhere by some shock jock loser.

            But surely the killing of Lee Rigby most certainly had racial undertones?

          2. William Jones, that is well said, though I’d say that case was more religious fundamentalists/terrorism than racism – and of course different country, two widely caught, punished, perpetrators rather than systemic breakdown of trust in society, which is why you are right in that first part.

          3. How the hell does Mr Rigby’s killing have less racial under tones than Mr Floyd’s?. Surely you can’t possible be that stupid, so you are either being sarcastic or you just dragged me into exactly the BS you were looking for!

          4. @bosyber – so why did they target a “White” man? they said they killed a British soldier to avenge the British Army killing Muslims. Are their no “Black” men/women in the British armed forces?
            Racial undertones? Yes.
            No buddy! not right. arguing that Rigb’y death was not racist, but Floyd’s was, simply wreaks of racism.

        2. White lives don’t matter, don’t you know?

        3. Lee Rigby’s killers were promptly arrested, given a fair trail, and now have life or long prison terms.
          George Floyd’s murderer wasn’t promptly arrested, he’ll probably won’t be charged with murder because he was a police officer, he might even be found not guilty of whatever he’s charged with.
          The police have a duty of care when they arrest someone, even if that person is violent the police still have that responsibility. I’m not saying the police can’t defend themselves if they are attacked, but Floyd wasn’t attacking them.

        4. I don’t hear you condemning them either. Guess you support the murder of Lee Rigby

      2. “Bullied” to make a principled stand against racism? That’s your take, really? Sad.

        1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          1st June 2020, 15:28

          Unfortunately yes that is my take, and I’m sure I’m not the only one weary with this culture of everyone in the public eye having to take a stand on every perceived moral ill.

          1. You consider this a perceived moral ill. You know there is a video recorded of George Floyd’s murder? Why are you commenting? I am disappointed by everything you type.

          2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
            1st June 2020, 16:26

            @gulfdamm of course I’ve seen the video, it’s horrific. However, the mindless actions of 1 police officer in Minneapolis are being used by this movement to condemn police forces, governments and all sorts of institutions across the world, rubbishing the good work they do and stoking-up unwarranted mistrust. That’s the bit I disagree with.

        2. Jack is good for watching sports with, but he blabs after he’s had a few. He is good partner in crime if you need someone to watch the door. Otherwise, he is a bone stock ignoramus. Better just to ignore him.

    3. Because celebs are more important than reason. And Albon you are white according to Lewis.

      1. William Jones
        1st June 2020, 19:42

        As a person of mixed heritage not disimilar to Albons, trust me, being called white isn’t the great insult you seem to want us to act like it is. In winter everyone assumes I’m Caucasian, in summer Turkish. I’m neither, and “mis-racing” at least in my circles isn’t a thing anyone gets upset about.

        1. You didn’t get it, lewis called out all other drivers as privileged and said he was the only non white. Not only he is not the only non white as he is not the driver from the poorest background.

    4. RP (@slotopen)
      2nd June 2020, 2:56

      @johnrkh

      This outspokeness could present some risk too. It would not be surprising if Hamilton has some odd problem with his paperwork next time he tries to visit America. I’m not sure discrimination needs cover in the US anymore, but if it does the pandemic is more than enough cover for keeping a race driver out.

      1. Well sort of @slotopen, though he has an employer in Europe, the sport, and a platform that allows him to be heard and helped, so if that were to happen, it will only strengthen his message – and involve the sport itself, because it would be a very bad reason to have the active champion not in a race, right?

        1. @bosyber

          Right, we hope that the positive influence wins out. However, the counter fear is you are either a friend or foe of this administration. The goal is to keep the President’s base engaged. I think the risk Hamilton is he is a minority in a minority sport, working for a brand that is not embraced by Trump supporters.

          My fear is keeping Hamilton out and cropping his championship hopes would be exactly the kind of screw-the-libtards message the President cherishes. And while it might not be majority support, he has the full support of about 40% of the population.

  2. I said it yesterday, Lewis’ comments had the potential to inspire people in the same powerful position. I’m so glad they all reacted. It’s the right thing to do.

    1. terrible example
      1st June 2020, 17:15

      “I’m speaking up because my peers used their media presence to pressure me into it. If I don’t make a public comment too they’ll therefore suggest that I am, in effect, supporting racism” is hardly an inspiring and positive message, is it…

    2. Lewis is not only a great driver, he a mensch.

  3. This is a very delicate subject. Racism is wrong and horrific, there are no two ways about it. It’s all too easy to say “I’m not a racist, I’ve never been a victim of it and I’ve never seen it happen, so I can’t comment on it.” This is the case for me, just as I know that shoplifting is wrong and that murder is wrong. The difference between me and most of these Formula One drivers is that they have millions of Twitter followers, to my 100-odd.

    Therefore they should absolutely speak out about these atrocities, if they see fit. I feel slightly uncomfortable at the way they’ve all appeared at once after a long silence. It’s important to me that the messages I receive from “role models” such as these are their real thoughts, not those of a frightened PR department. I’m sure they all believe in the message they’ve put out, but I’d far rather see these people put out their own feelings as and when they develop.

    1. As per my above comment, I think these *are* their own opinions. They’re at home, sharing their own thoughts via their own accounts – they’re not communicating under the banners of their employers to the world media.

      1. …and they all suddenly developed these opinions this morning? That’s the part that doesn’t sit right with me. I totally agree; the content is surprising, personal and admirable in many cases, but the timing is unusual to me.

        1. @ben-n This is in direct response to Lewis calling them out – his statement was a combination of a challenge as to why they’re not using their voices and fan base to help, and kind of giving permission for them to speak out on an issue that they had convinced themselves wasn’t their place to speak about.

          1. Fair enough. As I say, I hope people don’t misunderstand me, I’m very pleased that they put out their statements and that this is getting the coverage the issue deserves.

          2. Exactly, @fluxsource – I see what Leclerc (and Russel, and Albon as well) say as a direct reflectin of Hamilton speaking out. Putting his call for action out there made them both realise that they can do something positive, and also that really there is no good reason not to use their influence over their fans to support this.

          3. William Jones
            1st June 2020, 19:47

            I didn’t mis-understand you. Unlike some, you managed to state your position clearly and without getting outraged about the issue. Your thoughts are your own, and above criticism. Your actions are thoroughly decent. You’re good!

            (( It just feels wrong saying that to an account with Bernies face on the ident!!! And I don’t even think he’s a problem compared to others of his peer group when it comes to racism ))

        2. @ben-n — I get what you are saying, Ben, and I don’t think I am reading anything into it. Basically, that it seems possibly disingenuous or contrived, or something, to say something only after being prodded to do so by Hamilton. Is that fair?

          I can see how it can be read that way. But I would offer an alternate reading, that Hamilton prodded them to step up and they did. It can be difficult to insert yourself into a situation that you don’t feel directly a part of. But racism occurs throughout Europe too, not just in the states, and it impacts everyone. They saw one of their peers step up and maybe it gave them a boost of confidence to step up too? Honestly, idk, but I hope it was something positive like that.

          I hope the drivers who chose to speak up have done so after really thinking about it and not just because it was a good PR move. But regardless, if it causes some of their millions of followers to think about the issues, that is a good thing.

          1. Absolutely @hobo – totally agree with all your points (you’ve put it across far better than I could) and thank you for understanding my point of view.

        3. Interestingly (and I didn’t realise it would be the case when he said it) but Lewis’ comments switched things around for many of the drivers. Saying something on the subject was a potential PR nightmare that could cause them major issues with their sponsors and teams. After Lewis challenged them, suddenly the opposite became true and not saying something was the potential PR nightmare!

          1. That is an interesting take @petebaldwin, that does seem like a good way for Hamilton to forced the issue

  4. Fair play to them for speaking out. It’s a difficult one as where is the line drawn? They could spend all day condemning things that happen around the world but I hope this leads to drivers speaking their mind on issues a bit more rather than worrying about what their teams and sponsors will say. They have a huge following and theirs words travel much further than most.

    1. I also hope their speaking out becomes balanced and addresses all racism, not just “White” on “Black” as it does now, but also the revere. If this doesn’t happen, they will loose merit as smart people realise that the anti racism call is in fact racist (And it is, because it is one sided, “#BlackLivesCount”, how is that not one sided?).
      I sure hope all those White drivers call Lewis out next time a person of Colour kills a White man…
      No. actualy what i would love is for us all to realise that we are the same, race is a furphy, we are all human beings, geneticaly the same with appearance differences (Even within each so called Race).

  5. Well done Lewis for making such a noise about this, and impressed at the drivers that have come out to support him and support Black Lives matter.

    Great that RaceFans covers stuff like this. Sport doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

    1. One of the best things Lewis has done. He has said stupid things on social media before, and silly things like in Monaco 2011 ‘maybe because I’m black’, but he put out a correct message here.. . Enough is enough with racism, it needs to be ploughed into our world leaders heads, and if vandalism and looting is involved to spread the voice of change I am all for it as peaceful protests haven’t worked. Have never been a fan of Hamilton, though I appreciate his racing brilliance, but today I’m his biggest fan, he is making change.

      1. I’ve always thought that Lewis was unfairly critisised for his “is it because I’m black” comment. I can totally see how, after a life time of being on the recieving end of various degrees of racism and prejudice, it would be easy to feel “here we go again” when there’s a series of decisions that go against you regardless of the merits of those individual decisions.

        He’s shown genuine leadership with this statement – not just stating what he believes, but calling out those around him for not being explicit in their condemnation of racism, when it would have been much easier to simply leave them out of it.

        I’m also impressed by the way the other drivers have responded. It takes strength and bravery to admit your own mistakes and address them, and even more so to do it publicly.

        1. Oh, stop it. Hamilton quoted Ali G. It was a joke, end of. Stop the racist pseudo-defence.

      2. Enough is enough with racism, it needs to be ploughed into our world leaders heads, and if vandalism and looting is involved to spread the voice of change I am all for it as peaceful protests haven’t worked.

        The problem is, it will just reinforce negative stereotypes even further, which leads to even more racial profiling.

        Many of the of targets of the looting are completely unrelated the incident or violent racism in general. It will only give opportunities for racists to show they are right, which is why it is important for the legitimate protest movement to disown those who undertake such action.

        Civil disobedience is fine but rhere must also be a line.

  6. So White lives don’t matter?

    How about Lewis & F1 drivers being vocal about for Lee Rigby’s killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, albeit 7 years late

    1. I didn’t agree with the way Hamilton brought this issue up (condemning others in the sport for not speaking up).
      But based on your whataboutism comments ben, I must admit that I was wrong.

    2. well, “ben” what makes you say they don’t?

      Off course ALL lives matter. But we generally do not speak of all the situations where those lives are not put at risk any more than their fellow people. I am sure you could make a decen case for gay lives just about everywhere. And for Uygur lives in China, for Rohringa lives in Myanmar, etc. etc.

      But currently, in the wake of yet another heartless and completely needless killing of a black man, is there any specific reason you would see to highlight those other lives? Or does it make sense to specifically talk about the lives that are clearly shown to NOT to matter as much in practice especially for all too many police officers in the USA.

    3. Silly. All lives matter, but at the moment the light needs to be shone on one area in particular.

      I saw a useful metaphor around this. You live on a street of houses identical to yours, except that one house is on fire. The fire engine shows up and begins tackling the house which is on fire. “But wait,” you cry, grabbing hold of the hose, “don’t all houses matter?”

      Of course all lives matter, but black lives are the ones on fire at the moment.

      1. The best example of this I read somewhere is it would be like shouting “All Cancers Matter” at a fundraising event for breast cancer.

  7. I’m going to speak up too

    – Racism is wrong
    – There is still racism in the US
    – There is a problem with police brutality in the US and there has to be a police reform
    – African Americans are probably more likely to suffer from police brutality
    – Some cops in the US are racist
    – Reportedly not all police officers who participated in the attempted arrest of George Floyd are white and the video does show one of them is Asian American
    – Looting, destruction of property, businesses, setting things on fire is also wrong and brings nothing to the table except more tension, division and suffering. This includes shop or business owners of color too
    – Many different African American people and communities in the US treat each other with hate and violence, just as much as if it were white on black racism

    Having said all that, I don’t appreciate Hamilton’s comments. How does he relate to this? Is he American? Does he live in the US? Oh wait, he is black, so this must relate to him. Because everything has to be about race (or gender, etc), always.
    His words makes it seem like some of us have to feel guilty that Formula 1 (and I have nothing to do with the way it us run) is “white dominated”. Why turn Formula 1 into a racial issue? Some sports are totally dominated by African Americans, is that a problem too? That’s why I hate shallow comments like that. Comments for the sake of commenting and nothing else to them.

    1. Just think a bit and you might finally come to realise that no one cares what you think or say, but they will take notice of Lewis Hamilton. Then again, I believe the first part of your rant was there to ‘allow’ you to throw in the nonsense of the 2nd paragraph.

      1. @Jon Bee Um, ok? I was definitely not seeking approval from you, so you are welcome to believe (assume) whatever you want. Seems people can not have a normal discussion these days. It either has to be hard left or hard right with incensed intolerance on both sides. Then people wonder why there is so much division.

    2. You commented for the sake of commenting, are you pleased with yourself? Lewis would be treated similarly as George by that police officer, because of the color of his skin, it is only because he is black, that this would occur. Fortunately for you, nobody profiles you for being ignorant, so you never felt a bit of profiling in your life.

      1. @gufdamm How do you know I have never been profiled? Do you know my background? Do you know my race? No. Someone else is ignorant here.

        This goes beyond the individual, whether it’s me or beloved Lewis. A whole country is on fire.

      2. Sorry, but do we know that officer did that because he was coloured? He had numerous formal complaints against him and the only other one I’ve managed to find info about online was a bunch of 17 year old white kids. That doesn’t indicate he hated coloured people.

        By all means, if he’s a member of the KKK or something, or he posts on white supremacy forums, etc. then statements like that are valid for him. Otherwise, it COULD just be his personality to use too much force, or a function of the training they’re given, etc.

        None of that is me making an excuse for him and there is no excuse for using force in that way, just to be clear. I’m just curious if there’s solid evidence that he did it because it was a coloured person as opposed to someone who was white.

        1. Shhh, stop bringing logic into people’s desire to drive their agenda.

        2. Suffering Williams Fan
          1st June 2020, 18:21

          Carl, a couple of comments. First, please be aware that the term “coloured” in this context will be viewed by many as an offensive racial slur, due to its link to segregation. Second, while it may not be possible to know the motives of this officer at this time, the broader context here is that all else equal, black men (the study looked specifically at men) are more than twice as likely to die (Harvard Public Health Review from 2015) during a “legal intervention” as white men, and so the view that this occurred because George was black fits a documented pattern, and so at least makes it a defensible position.

          1. Really? It’s used in the press here in the UK and nobody takes that in a negative way so I apologise to anyone that may have offended.

            In a way, that actually highlights one of the issues around how some people are interpreting things written online. I have absolutely no issue with any ‘group’ of people – I can’t judge if I like someone or not until I’ve met, spoken to and got to know that person and then I may decide I don’t like them, but it definitely won’t be because of their appearance or background.

            It also shows a little bit why some/most people don’t comment on this sort of thing. That is, it has nothing to do with any experience that’s in our lives or visible in our culture, so what right do we have to comment on it to any extent? I don’t see racism in my daily life. I didn’t see it when I lived in various cities in the UK. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but I can’t just take the word of the people who are rioting as being factual because I don’t take anyone’s opinion as factual for something this serious until I’ve investigated it and can see a large body of evidence to back that opinion up. Not living in the US, and knowing the polarising differences in US media between differing agendas, it’s difficult to have confidence in obtaining unbiased opinion.

            On the second point I completely get there are issues around the actions of police in certain circumstances but I thought at this point it’s premature to state this man hated one group more than another. Playing devils advocate on that statistic, it’s very unclear what ‘all else being equal’ actually means – does it take into account fitness/prior health issues/the types of ‘legal intervention’ being carried out, etc.

            The media are happy to throw around the statistics that best serve their purpose, or the purpose of the investigating group. Lots of studies find what they want because they look into something to see if there’s an issue and tailor the study to fit what they want to draw attention to.

            Again, I’m not saying that’s the case here necessarily.

          2. Carl, coloured is not used in the UK press. It is a slur here.

          3. Suffering Williams Fan
            2nd June 2020, 19:04

            Regarding the statistic, the deaths (a little under 16000 of them for the entire period studied – which goes back to the 60s, I used the stat from the most recent decade in the study, the stat from the preceding decades are even worse, and reach as high as 8 in the 60s) in this case are from official US mortality data in which the death was specifically coded as being due to law enforcement action (use of firearm, baton, blunt object, explosive, etc), with data stratified by age and (of course) race/ethnicity, and median income was also factored in on a county basis. The excess was evident in all income brackets, and given the association between income and health, this would be expected to diminish potential prior health issues (not to mention around 2/3 of the deaths were among men under 35, making health issues an even less plausible explanation). The study also notes that this statistic is almost certainly an under-estimate of the real value, as homicides involving police officers are not always correctly certified as involving police officers, and that such omissions are more likely to occur when the deceased individual is black.

          4. Couldn’t reply to the others for some reason – just wanted to say I was using ‘people of colour’ (which is used in the press) interchangeably with my first statement, and after a quick google of the historical connotations realise that was a mistake. I sincerely apologise for the term, and thanks for politely pointing out my mistake.

    3. William Jones
      1st June 2020, 20:08

      I think, outside of his tax haven, Hamilton does spend more time in the US than anywhere else, so… insofar as it related to a jet-setting millionaire, yes to that question?

      And you’re correct, some sports are black dominated, and if this were because white people are not given the opportunity to compete in these sports then you would have a point. I am wondering if you’re talking about long distance running? If so, then these sports are dominated because countries have targeted these sports and provided extensive funding and facilities to excel in them. It’s not that white kids in America are being turned away from running clubs. Yet I sit here as a primary source to say that I was indeed given “the coloured kart” at my local track – the one that didn’t work properly. And yes, coloured referred to my skin. It’s part of the reason I have moved to the UK, one of the most race tolerant places I have had the pleasure to live in and where my live has been for the last 40 years. And even then, breaking into the racing series I did was… let’s say I had to overcome obstacles that were not present for white people — for example, I was interviewed to see if my moral fibre was “in line with your peers” – an interview that despite my insistence that I was atheist as was my father, and my mother was christian, I was told with great incredulity that they knew I was lying, I look like a muslim. No white kid ever had the moral fibre interview, only me and a Somalian kid. So for sure, there was a problem with race in my era, and I wouldn’t be surprised if these feelings were there, but more hidden when Hamilton was breaking through.

  8. Hamilton was absolutely right to call out the silence. It was deafening. And it’s not like he’s all of a sudden making a noise; he’s been vocal about discrimination inside and outside F1 for years. He was maybe a bit stern, but it goes without saying that if upsetting and embarrassing a few people is the collateral for positive change then so be it.

    In saying “I’m staying out of this” (or likewise just actually staying silent) you’re confirming you’re comfortable with the status quo. That might pass for just a regular person, but these guys are role models – it’s what they signed up for, whether they like it or not, and they need to act as such. Hamilton himself has not been above that criticism at times in his career.

    All the drivers subsequently coming out with statements is testament to the fact he was right to bring it up.

  9. Dave (@tacosalpastor)
    1st June 2020, 15:15

    “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, classisim and that we are all the same”

    Right now we’re talking about the US but it happens all over.

  10. Killing black man was wrong even if he allegedly conducted a criminal activity. But I never heard Lewis complain about killing millions brown civilians worldwide.

    1. Then you should pay more attention then when he is speaking on behalf of UNICEF, Educating Africa, Save the Children, etc.

      1. Yep. Thanks for telling everyone that Lewis only concern about something that creates good publicity for himself.

        All celebrities should listen to Ricky Gervais.

        1. So if you don’t hear him complain that’s his fault, and if you do hear him he is seeking publicity. Amused the way you people twist yourselves up like a pretzel when these matter come up.

          1. @riptide I don’t know how twisted you are to believed that creating wars and unrest all over the world was not the root cause of that fancy UN issues.

            But I don’t think Lewis was evil, I just saying he’s a hypocrite just like other celebrity like him.

        2. @ruliemaulana that would be the same Ricky Gervais who was heavily criticised for making derogatory comments about people with Down’s Syndrome?

  11. It’s a measure of how the world has changed – for the worse – in our lifetimes, where calling out and condemning brutal racial oppression by a militarised police force is somehow seen as controversial. We are living in a world where it’s now more controversial to call out racists than it is to be a racist in the first place.

    I always assumed that progress was something that went more or less in one direction. Naively, for sure. I thought that liberty, freedom, and basic rights, became more liberal and inclusive as time went on. I never envisioned how, in the past decade or so, progressive Western society would see such a huge resurgence of the kind of open hatred and violence towards minorities, and in particular black people. I can only imagine it happened precisely because of the kind of complacency I’m guilty of – those of us in positions of privilege have been caught sleeping; while we assumed that things could remain the same, or even get better, while we did nothing, it seems that a certain group of people have quietly gained support and, ultimately, power.

    Hamilton is absolutely right to call out those people who have a voice but choose not to use it; turning a blind eye to racial killing because it doesn’t affect them, or because they don’t want to incur the wrath of those perpetrating or supporting these horrific crimes. Because without supportive white voices, all we’re left with is a gloating chorus from those who would spread their vile doctrine. Staying silent is a way of saying, I’m ok with this.

    I’m not ok with this. None of us should be.

    1. I agree with all of this. Your first statement in particular speaks volumes to how our society is.

    2. @mazdachris — Spot on.

      I only want to add that, previously, I’ve often wondered how progressive and advanced nations and societies slip backwards into nationalism and hate and regress (for example the World Wars). I don’t wonder how anymore. This is how. I still wonder why.

    3. @mazdachris No one is condoning racism or oppression. The whole country is outraged and the responsible police officers will be tried for murder.

      I just don’t see how anarchy is helping. Antifa are burning and destroying, there are also black people looting and destroying. The antifa are just as privileged and ignorant as anyone can be.

      It would have been nice for people commenting on the events in the US to comment on the whole thing, not just on what interests them personally. Please watch the response of someone who actually cares and who actually has to live with it. True leadership:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVs8JXqLPs8

      And I still don’t see why Formula 1 being “white dominated” is implied to be racist, or at least wrong, per Hamilton’s comment.

      1. I don’t see an implied criticism in Hamilton pointing out that F1 is white dominated, other than the basic fact that systemic white-on-black racism is a problem for white people to solve. Simply not being actively racist isn’t really enough – there is a cancer in the ‘white community’, and collectively white folk bear a responsibility to weed it out. If you don’t resist it, you enable it – if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

        It’s all too easy to sort of shrug it off as someone else’s problem – I’m not a racist, I don’t need to worry about this. I’m not American, not my responsibility. I’m not rich, how could I possibly have white privilege? We have collective sloping shoulders.

        And the worst of it – the immediate reflex to centre the feelings of white people in any discussion about racism. All the buts. I’m not racist but. I get your point but. Of course it’s disgusting but. Have a look through the replies to the two stories about Hamilton’s comment on this site, see if you can count the buts. And following just about every but is an argument about how white-on-black racism mustn’t be allowed to tarnish ‘normal’ white folk. As if the worst thing that could happen to a white person is being branded a racist. Like we’re the true victims here. But it’s bull.

        What it really does is shut down discussion, contributing to our rapidly growing blind spot where racial violence is concerned. Either through a genuine ignorance, or deliberately, but the result is the same. We ignore the rot. Pretend that it’s just a bunch of isolated incidents. We look at images of militant white boogaloo boys standing enmasse, holding their military grade weapons, and turn a blind eye to what they really represent, what they really believe.

        We pretend that our police forces, our governments, haven’t been infiltrated at every level by people who have a clear agenda to subjugate black people. But they have. It’s happened on our watch because we allowed it to happen. Because every time someone tried to speak out about it, all the white people got their buts out. But the time has come where we’ve really just run out of excuses for turning a blind eye. The fury you see being unleashed in the US is one we, ourselves, as individuals, played a part in creating. We need to own our racism. We need to own the consequences of it. We need to stop acting as if our racism is a problem for someone else to fix. It isn’t. It’s on us.

        1. @mazdachris I think you are making a mistake by concentrating only on white people. Every community has its cancers, not just the “white community”.

          I don’t approve of the looters and the people setting things on fire and never will. It’s not racist when I don’t

          I also did not approve of the armed men storming local capitol building (though we have to admit at least there wasn’t violence) – it’s not what one should be doing during a pandemic.

          There is rampant black on black violence and black on black racism.

          There may be communities in the US where there are racists but I totally don’t agree our governments are “infiltrated” by people who have an agenda to subjugate black people. There are black polcie officers, there are black sheriffs, there are black mayors, there are black judges, etc, etc.

          And Lewis Hamilton is making it about himself.

          Again, should white people complain so many sports are dominate by blacks? Why are they dominated by blacks? Let us hear the non-racist explanation.

          I still fail to see why some people are reacting as there weren’t any outcry after the death of George Floyd. The are reacting as if everyone just turned a blind eye and walked on by, which is by far not what happened.

          And what about the non-white police officers involved in the incident?

        2. @mazdachris I couldn’t agree more.

    4. Or maybe just because they are not sure that it was racist. Horrible, digusting, sad, uncomprehensible. Yes!
      Racist, because it was a white man harming a black man? Might have nothing to do with race.

  12. This is pure “vice signaling” from Hamilton, it’s empty and unearned.
    it’s disingenuous, and smarmy or rather Hamilton it his best.
    Killer Mike had real words, showed real leadership to a fallen brother, to my fellow human George Floyd, who was murdered in daylight, on camera and in front of our eyes the pain is palpable and unending. Hamilton and his PR team should be ashamed.

    1. Typical response from a racist. ‘Vice-signalling’, what the heck does that mean. A black guy reacts furiously to an all too familiar murderous act of police officers on a black person and in your twisted mind he has been disingenuous and ‘smarmy’. And who made you the arbiter of ‘real words’? It is enablers like you that has stymied progress in combating racism. Directing your bile towards hamilton for having the audacity to speak the truth is just obnoxious. Your ignorance is truly staggering

      1. None of this racist call is the truth or at least we don’t know if its the truth. We do not know if this terrible thing happened because of racial differences, its all just assumption (Thats a fact).

  13. Who’s going to take a stand for thousands of employees who lost their jobs so that the socially aggravated warriors could still take their ten, twenty, thirty millions?

  14. Steven Jackson
    1st June 2020, 16:57

    This all comes full circle when Lewis races in Bahrain.

    It really goes to show some lives don’t matter. Racing drivers are paid to race. We shouldn’t care about their opinions on any subject of choice really. Because the cult of celebrity is the poison and the empty minds waiting to be filled.

  15. Bit self righteous Hamilton.

    1. Self-righteous? Really? It is a black thing, get back in your white-priviledge bubble.

  16. im a bug LH fan but just by tweeting stuff, nothing happens.

    so now that these so called “privileged” white people have spoken, i believe all the racism has ended.
    just because they dont speak does not mean they dont care. may be many work outside of the 14 character world. you know there exists a world outside of it.

    and why be ashamed of being born white, calling it being privileged? ( btw, im not white). i agree there are some benefits, but unless you are an a hole.. i dont think you have anything to apologize for being white.

    1. William Jones
      1st June 2020, 20:16

      Who asked you to apologise? You do understand that being born to privilege isn’t something to be ashamed about, and if you are it’s come from you. Maybe, you are ashamed because you haven’t made the best of your life, you’ve seen non-white people exceed you despite your skin colour advantage, and if that’s the case, remember that success in life is mostly down to opportunity, which is based mostly on luck. You have nothing to be ashamed about. No-one wants you to apologise. We just want all people to have access to the same opportunities, whether that be kids on the karting track or adults being arrested by police without being brutalised.

  17. If you don’t speak out about racism and injustice you’re condoning it. And if you condone it, you know exactly what you are.

    1. So people are going to be persecuted just for minding their own business and not forcing their views in every possible instance? Tell me how exactly you imagine this “speaking out”, the Great Inquisitor.

      1. Persecuted? Hyperbole much? Simply, when you hear or see discrimination and racism don’t ignore it, respond with your own views, don’t hide or cower. And please grow up. You may have something useful to say but your attitude hides it.

      2. William Jones
        1st June 2020, 20:18

        It’s really not difficult. If you are a police officer and your colleague is murdering someone right in front of you… stop them.

        That you’re bellyaching about this is disappointing, and very telling.

    2. So, the F1 drivers and personnel who have yet to speak out are condoning racism?

  18. What happened to George Floyd was a crime and I don’t know anybody who disputes this. I am sure that it is lot more personal to some people than to others and Hamilton is certainly right to voice his opinion. But just because others chose not to make a statement, does not make them racists. Even Hamilton does not condemn everything that’s going on, and cannot be expected to. I do not remember him saying anything when few years ago, four men in London confronted Czech immigrant Zdenek Makar and bludgeoned him to death, nor when they were acquitted on self defense claims. Of course, he never knew about it, because it was basically no news. But as a Czech, I did pay attention and I was upset about it…but I don’t blame anybody for being silent about it, either.

    1. Good point.

  19. I don’t understand what racist police officers in the US has to do with people like Leclerc and Ricciardo. It’s not their responsibility to call out people they have no control over on the other side of the planet. Surely being a level-headed person treating all people equally is enough? It’s as if all white people are somehow to blame for the actions of a minority. What exactly does Lewis expect them to do?

    1. William Jones
      1st June 2020, 20:22

      I don’t know, maybe there’s a black kid who adores LeClerc and dreams of driving for Ferrari but doesn’t believe he can go karting because it’s a white kids sport and he will be the outsider. Suddenly, he sees all this support and maybe he decides to go after reading his hero’s tweet as he might not be such an outsider after all.

  20. It’s not the murder itself, but what it represents: the rise of right wing intolerance that has been slowly bubbling away for the last 10 years, resulting in ‘people’ like Trump in charge of Western governments. The virus has turned countries even further inwards on themselves.

    As Karl Popper said, “you shouldn’t tolerate intolerance”. Free speech does not mean letting anyone spout harmful nonsense, nor does it mean it’s ok for a leader to says things like “start shooting”. The more people that speak out the better, because we have seen where this kind of thing goes.

  21. So saddened to see politics taking over a sports site, but I guess this is the world we’re living in.

    1. I’m really surprised to be honest. I live in Brooklyn as an immigrant, and these recent events resonated very deeply in my heart. We had enough of racism and police brutality and I’m glad as a community we’re making a stand.

      But then i browse Motorsport news and see Lewis pointing fingers at the drivers, saying “I see you”. Putting drivers in a position to explain why they haven’t made public announcements to condemn the events. I’m not sure if this is warranted. If I see every driver making announcements to condemn every immoral event, I would definitely think there is some insincerity going on. Should we point fingers at drivers who didn’t condemn what Chinese government does to Urdu people? Should we check drivers’ Twitter feeds to check if they said something during the Hong Kong protests? Have all made statements about the conflict between palestinians and israil? Where should we draw a line. It was a bit sad to see that all of these driver statements start with an explanation of why the reason they haven’t made any public statements is not that they are racist.

      1. Nobody knows that it was a racially motivated incident. People are using this to push their own agenda’s and not finding out the facts first.
        The police officer is a thug and using way too much force! That is a fact otherwise George Floyd wouldn’t have died.
        The other Officers with him are complicit in this incident and should be brought to justice too.
        George Floyd is a human being not a black man, and everyone should be treated the same regardless of skin colour.

      2. Lewis did not target “drivers”. He targeted f1 as a whole. Just saying.

  22. Death, taxes, and white people on online forums complaining about black lives matter…

  23. Drivers are famous public figures. Possibly influencial on an international stage. Thats part of Lewis message. Use the power you have to make a statement to influence a change of mind set. He is calling them out for the above to do what they can by way of their public influence over their followers to garner support fpr a very serious problem in the US and other parts of the world.

    1. There are much more powerful people than drivers already speaking up.

      This kind of things need actions, not only words. Boycott US grand prixs would be a nice action to take. If lewis and other drivers are not available to face the monetary impact of that maybe they are just hypocrites that don’t really care about Black Lives in the US.

  24. Even if the posts are much more aggressive than usual they still fall short.

    They have the power to simply say that they refuse to take part in grand prixs in the United States.

    And since Hamilton likes to take the lead on subjects and accuse others of cowardly ignoring the case, he could take the lead on that boycott. He is in position to do so, nothing serious would happen to him

  25. Reading all this. How low “western world” is dropping. Hypocrisy as a mainstream culture. Nobody of you really gives a thing about what’s happened. Everybody, including Hamilton, just using it to score personal points. And nobody of you care how black people living in Africa, white and red in Latin America, yellow and white in Asia and even some parts of Europe. They could only dream of how black people living in USA. Yet in past decades USA, including black presidents, has been bringing only wars to those parts of the world. Millions of deaths “in the name of democracy”. But no one of you gives a thing.

    1. Well @regs

      the thief believes that everybody is like him

      I suppose.

    2. @regs Wait where in Asia are white people leading disadvantaged lives?

      1. Nearly every poor country – Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia etc etc etc etc. Pretty much majority of Asia living in conditions far worse than any american.

        1. @regs I can’t speak for the other countries, but as an Indian I simply cannot agree that white people are discriminated against systemtically. We have lots of issues with discrimination, mostly around gender, caste and religion (skin colour too) but the only anti-white discrimination I’ve seen in India is not being allowed entry into some temples.

          1. It’s not about discrimination. It’s about level of life. It’s far worse than that american “discrimination”.

          2. @regs White people have a level of life in South Asia that’s worse than American ‘discrimination’? This is the first I’ve heard this, and I’ve lived in India all my life. Would you care to elaborate?

    3. @regs So obviously. There’s no measure of racism better than how the world treats or reports about people in 3rd world countries. Tens of thousands of kids die the most horrific deaths in Yemen as we speak, but no one gives a toss because they are poor colored people in a far-away country. We even support the regime that’s causing this with military aid even if it’s the worst regime in the world (Saudi-Arabia). Like you well say, hypocrisy as a mainstream culture.

  26. Say what you will about Lewis comments but he’s sure got F1 circles talking about this subject. Thats no accident.

  27. I feel Hamilton is milking this tragedy for his own purposes. He feels strongly about this and wants to speak out, fine. Full support for that. However, him bullying other people to take a stand and try and show them in poor light is not good. If he is saying that others in F1 are not speaking up on the issue, the same can be said about Lewis on so many issues. Did he speak on this or that, where does it end? These drivers may or may not have seen racism in real life but that does not mean they support it. Why should a driver of another country speak on an issue in another country? Is Lewis suggesting that the other drivers speak up so to say on his alleged tax evasion as well?

  28. I wonder what Kimi thinks about this. I guess much like me, after reading all these comments he would rather be on the Moon (after a conditions are in place that can support human life there, of course).

    1. Kimi can certainly afford a commercial flight with SpaceX .. i reckon they will go to the moon in 4 years time .. just in time of Kimi’s retirement from F1 :)

  29. Andrew Blankley
    3rd June 2020, 19:36

    Motor racing is sport not politics and the two should not mix. If Lewis wants to voice his opinions then he has platforms other than F1 to do so.

    He simply put other drivers in an embarrassing position (and by so doing bullied them) into feeling they should make comment due to their high profile as F1 drivers.

    Sorry Lewis but if you’re not careful someone will accuse you of bullying and that won’t do will it?

    I will still support you on the race track but my respect for you as an individual is waning.

  30. NeverElectric
    4th June 2020, 4:23

    Quite shocking to see some of the comments here. Some of you sound like you are cross-burning KKK members.

Comments are closed.