F1 drivers take a knee, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Drivers divided as Hamilton gets his way over ‘end racism’ protests

2020 British Grand Prix

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Since the season began, Formula 1 drivers have begun each race by uniting in a show of solidarity against racism.

But from the beginning it was clear some chose to express their support for the cause differently. The majority of drivers have chosen to make the ‘take a knee’ gesture, while others don’t.

Both groups have stated, quite reasonably, that the ultimate goal of tackling racism matters more than the nature of the gesture. However it has become clear this isn’t the only aspect of F1’s drive against racism which has divided the 20 drivers. Some intended for the ceremony to be a one-off event before the season-opening race. Others expected it would take place at every grand prix.

While Lewis Hamilton has been a driving force behind these pre-race gestures, this is not just his fight. Daniel Ricciardo has been vocal on the subject, and he is among those who lobbying for the ceremony to continue.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Silverstone, 2020
Ricciardo opposed drivers who wanted the ceremony to stop
“I think it is 100% important to to continue doing it,” said Ricciardo today.

“It was discussed after the first race, will we do it [repeatedly], and some of were unsure. We have to continue doing it, I believe, for at least the remainder of this season, because it’s something that’s obviously ongoing, and it’s not just that we highlight it one week and forget about it. So I 100% think we should.

Sebastian Vettel, who has joined Hamilton in carrying the ‘Black Lives Matter’ slogan on his helmet, also believes there should be room for such a gesture alongside F1’s regular business of racing.

“I think Formula 1 is a worldwide sport and we as individuals are part of that sport,” he said. “I think the main reason for being here is obviously to perform. But I think we cannot ignore what’s happening outside of our racing bubble.”

“This is an ongoing process,” he continued. “I think it needs all of us and that’s not just us in racing,. That would be ignorant. All human beings around the planet to stand up and to try and go against racism, inequality, injustice in any form. And therefore, I think it is right to try and set the right signs to inspire people, because in the end I believe that education is probably the only way out of it.

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“It is insanity if you think that in 2020, with all the knowledge that we have of the past, all the lessons we have learnt of the past, that it’s still something that does exist. It should be out of the question, but it’s not, so therefore, I believe it’s important to stand up when we have the chance to publicly, send a message. But more so even when the cameras are off, when, we are living our everyday lives and setting the right examples and trying to behave in a way that I think is right.”

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2020
Vettel called the persistence of racism “insanity”
It isn’t only the attitude of the drivers which has been put in the spotlight. The pre-race ceremony at the Hungarian Grand Prix was a messy affair, and several drivers have blamed the lack of time they were given to arrive at the national anthem performance, which had also been relocated to the pit lane.

“Certainly it was rushed,” said Ricciardo. “Particularly, I felt, at Budapest. We kind of all got there and the ones that were happy to take a knee, it kind of felt like as soon as we got down, then the anthem started and we didn’t want to kneel for the anthem. So it’s like, do we stay, do we get up? It was it was a bit rushed for sure.”

The drivers do not deserve the blame for the shambles that took place at the Hungaroring, says Alexander Albon.

“I don’t think it was down to the drivers, as such, that we were disorganised,” said the Red Bull driver. “I don’t think you could put it on us.

“I think it was just the way that the timing was and even if you just look at how we all have to rush straightaway to get all the cars and run to where we knelt or stood or whatever we did. It’s a more of a collective discussion with Formula 1 and ourselves. I don’t think it’s fair to put it on the drivers.”

Following further discussions between the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, the FIA and Formula 1, a more organised pre-race ceremony is planned for Sunday. “It will look better and it will show that we are a little bit more organised,” said Albon.

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[/CBC]This has come about at least partly at Hamilton’s instigation. Shortly after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix he said he would speak to FIA president Jean Todt and Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey about the matter.

“I had really great conversations with them to understand what they are planning and what they want to do moving forward,” said Hamilton today. “And just to make sure they know that we’re all on the same team here and things like giving us that little bit extra time, for example, at the beginning before the race, so that we can really show how united we are as a sport because other sports have done a better job at consistently doing that. They’ve been really open-minded

“I do think that it needs to continue through the year. And so I believe at the moment that’s what we’re going to continue to do. I think there’s been some push back from some teams maybe, but again, it’s a work in progress to get us all together and I think it’s going in the right direction.”

Romain Grosjean was also on Hamilton’s call sheet after his critical comments about the Haas driver in Hungary. They spoke at length last week, and Grosjean told Hamilton he accepted the need for the ceremonies to continue. However, Grosjean noted, as many as eight drivers did not agree.

Hamilton was full of praise for Grosjean when he was told about the Haas drivers’ words in today’s press conference. “I was already impressed with our conversation that we’d had and his approach to our conversation. He originally reached out to me to talk after the last race so I gave him a call and we had this great conversation.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020
Hamilton praised Grosjean’s change in stance
“I think ultimately it was quite informative for both of us. We learnt that we actually have a lot more in common than we perhaps think. And he is clearly a caring person. So to hear that he said, it’s not easy for for anybody to admit that we were wrong. And that’s a great first step. But the fact is when we got off the phone I knew that were united and we’re going to be working towards the same common goals. So I’m really, really appreciative to Romain.

“That’s really what it is going to take all of us to do, to really kind of open up our minds, don’t put up barriers up, don’t be defensive, be open minded. Acknowledging that there is an issue is obviously sometimes the first step, and then how can we work towards making it better.”

Hamilton had also previously indicated he wanted to speak to the drivers who were unwilling to ‘take a knee’. The practice has become widespread in some other sports, and for all the talk of unity between the F1 drivers, regular images of them adopting difference stances during the ceremony inevitably sends a different message.

Kimi Raikkonen, one of the drivers who has chosen not to kneel, made it clear he did not wish to give his reasons for not doing so when ashed whether Hamilton had spoken to him since the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I haven’t talked to him, first of all, so far,” said Raikkonen in today’s FIA press conference. “And even if I would, I wouldn’t be here telling you. I think whatever happened between any people, I have zero interest to tell them in the news because that’s nothing to do with the news or any papers. It’s us discussing whatever it’s going to be.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Silverstone, 2020
Raikkonen: “I can feel what is being tried to be done”
“Obviously he’s been vocal on certain things and it’s fine I have no issues with that,” Raikkonen added. “I will not even get involved in those discussions because I can feel what is being tried to be done.

“I mean, we are always being complained that what we do or the way we’ve been asked or you don’t do this or you didn’t do that… It’s easy to say but we don’t see what the media is doing. You can always say you don’t kneel or you stand almost like pointing us out. But what is these people doing that they are kind of questioning our positions? I would like to know that. I think not much else to say really.”

Hamilton has said he hopes that by the end of the season all the drivers join in the ‘take a knee’ protest, a view echoed by Grosjean today. Max Verstappen is among those who continues to insist that he won’t.

“No,” he said when asked today if he might change his mind. “Because I explained it before. And the reasons.

“Everybody has their own way of expressing it. But I think at the end of the day, we are all united in fighting racism.”

Hamilton and his allies have scored a victory by ensuring the ceremonies will remain a feature of this year’s races. Using F1 as a platform to regularly promote anti-racism is a more valuable prize than winning over the few drivers who prefer not to take a knee.

Much attention – perhaps too much – has been focused on the question of who does and does not kneel. Now any driver who thought they would only have to make that decision a single time was wrong: F1’s ‘end racism’ ceremony appears to be here to stay.

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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...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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108 comments on “Drivers divided as Hamilton gets his way over ‘end racism’ protests”

  1. I’m with Kimi.

    1. Yeah perhaps Kimi is a Formula 1 Fanatic and Lewis is a Race Fan.
      Ban away Keith lol.

    2. Me too, LH is too much into fishing for likes, with this.

      1. Can’t disagree

    3. Very verbose for Kimi and with all those words strung together all he said was he wouldn’t answer the media on the issue.

  2. Not surprised about Kimi’s response. You could set of a live volcano in front of him and he’d just shrug.

    1. And easy an ice cream!

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    30th July 2020, 20:21

    I agree with the idea of presenting a united front rather than the mixed message of some doing it and others not, but obviously some are unhappy with it – either because of the symbolism of taking a knee, disagreement with the message or disagreement with being ordered to do it. Perhaps they could come up with something different that everyone would be happy to do? Something new, something unique.

    That said I think everyone wants to ‘end racism’ but a bunch of kneeling sportsmen isn’t going to ‘do’ anything. The solidarity is a nice touch but these people – and F1 – have the platform and the means to actually make a difference in donations, support and elevating a platform to voices that really should be heard. A ‘racist’ isn’t going to see these protests and change their minds. So again, do something new. Something unique for F1. It starting to become more about pointing fingers at who’s taking a knee and who isn’t, and the important messages are being lost.

    1. You are correct in that a racist isnt going to change after seeing these displays.

      But they’re not aimed at racists.

      They’re aimed at the average Joe Bloggs, not intentionally racist but not doing enough to challenge those who are. Challenging racism needs to become the norm, rather than the all too common thought of “I’m okay because I’m not actively racist”

      If it’s one small group of people actively challenging racism, it likely wont succeed. If they manage to bring the whole world onto their side, challenging racism becomes a lot easier.

  4. This does need to be treated a bit more organically. It can’t be compulsory to perform a particular gesture and if some people aren’t convinced by argument now, they won’t ever be. What is essential is an institutional response: i.e. FIA/F1 provides space for protest or solidarity to be expressed, and makes sure it is covered. Then whoever wants to participate does so. At the same time, FIA commits to inclusionive processes and anti-racism campaigns. The focus needs to be away from which driver will or won’t do what. I don’t care with Raikkonen participates or not. He doesn’t strike me as someone who cares much about anything, but so what.

    1. @david-br Saying Raikkonen doesn’t care about racism is stepping over the line

  5. I think Kimi sums it up, people should be free to make their own choices and not share them. At the moment too much focus is on what people do or don’t do and it’s just causing more division.

    What started as a nice gesture is turning into childish arguments where anyone who doesn’t agree, regardless of reasons, gets accused of racism and trying to force everyone to act or believe the same even when it seems a clear cut issue is a slippery slope.

    Hopefully we’ll have a good race and get back to talking about F1 rather than arguing about who kneels this weekend and let people take action against racism however they choose.

  6. All lives matter!

    1. You think ‘Back Lives Matter’ doesn’t mean ‘Black Lives Matter Too‘ and that was the whole point? It’s a question of the invisibility of systemic racism, so when you say ‘all lives matter’ the bit where ‘black lives don’t matter as much’ in a racist culture stays hidden.

      1. CaribbeanGuy
        30th July 2020, 21:06

        systemic racism is blatantly denying entry to Asians students to certain universities because they perform good, so feel they need to cut the asians to give a chance to black..or like they did at an university in Australia where they denied entry to men to certain careers in favor of women, systemic sexism, when the system intervene, that’s systemic, and so far i haven’t see actually any prove that the system cut opportunities to black folks..is quite the contrary…. i never saw lewis taking a knee for all the opressed foreign workers in middle eastern countries where f1 race.. or the brutality of black folks against their own people or white people in some african countries.. i never saw lewis fighting for the people of the caribbean to reach f1 or south america, for the white folks who dont have the resources or opportunities to get into f1.. so if you think the problems of blacks are more important than the same problem many others faces then yea… ALL LIVE MATTERS.. quit the victim mentality.. no everybody is born in a gold nugget under the arm

        Hasta luego

        1. Weird how the ‘victim mentality’ is precisely what the far right always exhibits.

          1. It’s not a victim mentality or paranoia when they are really out to get you.

          2. Well that certainly is a lie.

          3. People ARE different. If everyone is equal.. they are not free. If everyone is free.. They are not equal.
            Leftists in their blind ideological rage fail to understand this simple reality.

          4. William Jones
            31st July 2020, 4:35

            Lompy, that doesn’t make any sense. At all.

            To deny everyone equal opportunities in life is plain stupid. Any human can be the next Einstein, Hamilton, Spielberg etc.

            Insert your choice of person who is amazing at their chosen career, to the point of fundamentally advancing the field they perform in here.

            Anyone can be, but you have to give every person a fair opportunity. Right now, just by the nature of birth circumstances, only (for arguments sake) 10% of people truly get to have the circumstances to excel. If we all had equal opportunity, we could be onto our 10th Einstein by now.

            But you seem to think that if we gave every kid equal opportunity to thrive, that we would no longer be free? On the contrary, many millions more would experience freedom that we take for granted.

            Is this where that expression is – when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression? If so, you’re just going to have to get over it.

          5. Did William Jones just put Shamilton on the same level as Einstein and Spielberg? There goes any hope of a credible comment.

      2. Hamilton seems to forget he is not the only minority in F1. Albon is Thai, but because he does not make a big deal of it or his skin colour, people forget. What would happen if Albon said all lives matter, because that would include him as well? Would he be a bad person? Would he be in the wrong?

        1. Saying ‘all lives matter’ doesn’t make anyone a bad person! And I’m sure both Albon and Hamilton would say or have said as such. The point is the implication that the slogan ‘black lives matter’ is intended to exclude others (non black). That’s a distortion, deliberate or otherwise, of the message intended by the black lives matter movement. That’s so evidently the case, I simply distrust anyone who tries to read it as exclusive.

          1. Say all lives matter in Seattle or Portland and see how loving equality is.
            Ideological possession is real.
            …And talk is cheap.

    2. No one’s saying they don’t. But if you went to the doctor with a broken arm and he said “All Limbs Matter,” you’d call him out for not paying attention to the one that needs help right now.

      Besides, what’s wrong with being reminded that Black Lives Matter. Not more, not less, but just matter at all. Because there’s a lot of bigots out there who seem to think that they don’t matter at all.

      1. @zapski As if racism against blacks is the only thing that needs attention. It’s almost a racist thing to say.

      2. So going by your logic it must be ok to be reminded that “White Lives Matter?”

        1. How dare you. /s

        2. William Jones
          31st July 2020, 4:41

          Of course it’s ok, but we’re going to read into why you only say it in a space dedicated to tackling racism against black people. If you genuinely and passionately have a reason to highlight why white lives mattering needs highlighting, then make your own space for it and explain yourself there, stop this low effort of trying to glom your message onto a significantly more popular movement. It’s the equivalent of some teen band sticking their hand written poster over the giant u2 billboard, it’s tacky and desperate and not going to reach the right audience

          1. low effort of trying to glom your message onto a significantly more popular movement. It’s the equivalent of some teen band sticking their hand written poster over the giant u2 billboard, it’s tacky and desperate and not going to reach the right audience

            Isn’t it the case of the BLM movement itself?

    3. When I say ‘Black Lives Matter’ and you say ‘All Lives Matter’
      That’s like if I was to say ‘Gay Lives Matter’
      And you say ‘All Lives Matter’
      If I said, ‘Women’s Lives Matter’ and you say ‘All Lives Matter’
      You’re diluting the issue
      The issue isn’t about everybody, it’s about black lives, at the moment

      1. RocketTankski
        1st August 2020, 15:23

        “when it comes to the poor, No Lives Matter” – Tracy Lauren Marrow

    4. That’s what it should’ve been from the start.

  7. how about working to get something done rather waste energy asking people to take a knee. im with LH, but if i don’t want to take a knee, i dont. no one has the right to call me on that… LH can take a hike. on that topic

    1. Remember, not only “white” people are racist.
      So yes, all lives matter and for now the scope is on black lives as a result of the murder of Floyd.

    2. The knee raises awareness. And that awarness has brought some actions across the world. Even for other cultures and races. I was pleasantly surprised to see some reforms in some asian countries after this!

  8. I think at the moment of calling attention to ending racism appears very disorganized. For a sporting event that bills itself as the pinnacle and is simultaneously keenly aware of “the show” and is full of strategic thinking engineers, this seems like an own goal by F1. Personally I don’t mind if drivers chose not to kneel. I myself have knelt at protests but that is a choice I have made. As long as drivers are on the same page about the actual goal they are trying to reach, I think that’s what is important.

    But I think this moment needs better organization and better optics. The display in Hungary was a mess. Even in Austria, the fact you had what appeared to be a disjointed message because of the mishmash of drivers kneeling and standing, was not good optics. I think physically organizing the drivers during the ceremony in a way that allows them to kneel or stand while simultaneously showing solidarity with the message is important. I’m not sure of the best way to do that. Maybe have the standing drivers stand behind the kneeling drivers, but that may appear paternalistic which is again bad optics.

  9. If you’re truly unified in your message, be unified in your gesture. Support Lewis. There’s no reason and no excuse for even a moment’s disagreement.

    1. Why does Hamilton get to dictate how others support a message? Kvyat has said he will not kneel because in his culture, kneeling means something else. If he does not kneel for cultural reasons, does that mean he is now a bad person for not doing it exactly like Hamilton? All of a sudden he has no ‘reason or excuse’? Every other culture must bend the knee now without any other consideration?

    2. There is no disagreement.. its a question of how to show it.

      1. Exactly. Who, I ask, is actually FOR racism?

        1. You’d be surprised. And racism comes in more forms than just I hate that black person lets beat him up.

          Imagine having an ethnic name and as a result it making getting a job substantially harder because they assume certain things about you.

          Imagine driving down the road with plats in a decent car and knowing you’ll be stopped when you drive past ever third police car. And made to look like a criminal to others as your car is being searched while people walk and drive past.

          Even just working in a predominantly white work place and hearing race jokes, which actually might be quite funny but being one of the only few people of colour…

          Sure being for Overt racism, there are people like that but I would like to think not to many here in the UK, but hidden, often sometimes unconscious (in the sense that in the moment you barely realise your being so) systemic racism is very real, and if you haven’t experienced it, simply put you wouldn’t know!

  10. Whats soo difficult about bending a knee and making a unified statement? Irrispective of what else you may do. Really theres nobexcuse except if 1 has a serious knee injuiry. Or no knee.

    1. kevin citron
      31st July 2020, 22:33

      because submitting to group think and mob violence never solves anything. if hamilton spent less time going to fashion shows and appearing on ellen, he could actually do something substantive about ‘racism’

  11. Move on! Enough of this, day in, day out, every race. So tired of this, continuing to rant about it, at this point, is doing nothing. Point has been made, Hammy has gotten to wear his SJW shirts, he’s gotten to guilt trip everyone for a few weeks, now get back to being a race car driver and let’s focus on the sport.

    1. Bigotry is not a virtue. And empathy is a virtue. Try empathy and get over yourself.

      1. I am empathetic, but after months of nothing but talk about race, it’s time to move on. Sports is an escape from this dreck, I’d prefer it remain entertaining and not club is over the head with SJW messages.

      2. @zapski Empaty is not a virtue

    2. now get back to being a race car driver

      Must really cut you up that he does that better than anyone else too. Or had you not noticed that last two races? You being an alleged racing fan and all…

      1. Oh it really does considering I would love nothing more than to see that car up in smoke every race.

    3. Yep, same here. Tired of this circus already. Let’s move on!

      1. Thank you. Let’s keep politics and movements out of sports. We all know where to find that crap when we want it.

    4. Absolutely!

    5. Yes, can we please stop this and go racing. F1 is a borefest and really hard to watch the last 5 years. This soapy element (despite the admirable goal) doesnt make it better

  12. You look at the football leagues, teams full of mixed race players, all united in taking a knee in the unity for the BLM movement. This demonstrates a football league’s support against racisim.

    F1, a global sport, so far has look like a bunch of rich guys giving a half hearted response around Lewis, the only black guy on the grid and in the pits.

    Resounding fat zero for F1. F1, grow a pair, if any driver wishes to protest supporting BLM, without a note from his doctor about knees, bench them. This is about a global sporting response against racism, and so far F1 has shown the opposite message – random small mindedness.

    1. Oh please. Do you watch sports for entertainment or for politics? Can we just have entertainment and eliminate politics from some sector of life? The left wants politics in everything, well the rest of us don’t, so let’s have sports be about sports, not about virtue signaling or appealing to this months leftist crusade. Nobody is going to stop being an ignorant racist because Sebastian Vettel wears and ‘End Racism’ shirt or because Alex Alvin kneels. It’s childish, egotistical and detracting from the sport, any sport. All this crap doesn’t bring people together it pushes them apart because most people don’t like being lectured about something they aren’t.

      I’m so tired of the “isms” and this attempt by groups to shove this crap onto us, in everything. Most people aren’t racists, we don’t hate people because of something they cannot control, so stop acting like this is a global issue for 7 billion people.

      Sports are for entertainment. If I want politics, I know where to go and it isn’t to F1 TV.

      1. “Stop saying things I don’t want to hear, it’s egotistical” he said without even a hint of irony.

        1. Well, I understand different views but the whole situation does make me wonder why Lewis drives a car in countries that have zero respect for women, just to pick one out of a dozen topics. Hence sports try to stay away from politics, because frankly there will always be someone insulted.

          1. Why, have you only just started watching F1? Because for years F1 had little respect for women. Did you not support it then?

          2. @riptide
            Care to elaborate how F1 showed little respect for women?

          3. Care to put into google Ecclestone and women, or get hold of the 13 minutes cut from the Stewart documentary, listen to some stories from Piquet, Hunt, Moss. Watch some interviews from women who worked in F21 like Bradshaw. Listen to Suzie Wolff on the subject.
            I wont do the work for you as you continually ask people to elaborate, then when they do you dismiss their work or degenerate them with a glib aside.
            Do your own research.

          4. @riptide
            Personal comments and opinions are not representative of the F1 organisation.
            They were made by people associated with F1, indeed, but not speaking on behalf of F1.
            Your issue seems to be with those individuals who made the comments, and not with F1 at all.

            Who’d listen to Bernie for advice on personal values and morality anyway?

  13. I believe that every man has the right to decide for himself in front who of he kneels.

  14. Something is not right when we are discussing about the gestures against racism, and division among drivers’ opinions. Gestures may become meaningless if they fail to attract people’s attention for the right reasons.

    This issue is too important to fail on sending a cohesive message out….

  15. Rui (@colinmcrui)
    30th July 2020, 22:10

    Concerning this end racism matters I can’t help to feel that there is a lot of virtue signaling going on. And then some are pressured directly (for instance Ferrari) or indirectly (F1 and drivers) to do it as well. Vettel is completely right, it is a matter of education, and just like Kimi said in his very special way it is not by virtue signaling that anyone will make a tangible difference. Specially when being pointed at. Let’s be real for a moment, your wife tells you that you don’t say enough how much you love her, how meaningful is it if you say it right away? Obviously I don’t have the solution as well, I can only speak for myself, the principles that were imprinted in me by my parents and that I will transmit to my children are that people are people irrespectively of skin color, gender, or culture. Just don’t try to convince me that the way to solve the world’s problems is through bending the knee to all the social justice warriors out there.

    1. While thing seems rushed, and done for show.

      It is not a protest if F1 orders them to do it.

  16. I believe Hamilton is obsessing with this also to get at his rivals. Forcing them to submit to something or be viewed as insensitive and even racist.

    1. kevin citron
      31st July 2020, 22:39

      must be nice to have the media promulgate whatever cockamamie idea he cooks up from veganism, climate scientism and now BLM & covid conspiracies.

  17. So what is next? Prove you are not a racist by kissing Hamilton’s feet?

    1. Don’t give them any ideas. My God, they’re doing everything except give him sainthood and the winner’s trophy before the race already. Sheesh!

  18. Part of the issue is that this is being co-opted from the US, and specifically the protests started by Colin Kaepernick at the start of NFL games. So it may not translate directly for every other culture or situation, even though I suspect it translates far better than some commenters here are giving it credit.

    The slogan/movement “Black Lives Matter” (BLM, hereafter) has to do with the fact that police in the US kill black people more than twice as often as white people–when controlling for population. Over the past year, it’s more than three times as often. So Kaepernick wanted something simple and peaceful, but visible as a way to call attention to this issue. Because they started playing the national anthem before all sporting events in the US, and because people are supposed to stand, he chose to kneel. He even spoke with a friend from the military before doing it, and the friend indicated that just sitting would come off as disrespectful or not caring. Whereas kneeling is a purposeful act.

    So when people here and elsewhere say, “no, all lives matter!” they need to understand what they are saying. In the grand scheme of things, yes, all lives should matter. But, clearly, when looking at the statistics of police killing people of color more often than whites, they do not all matter equally. Some might say it appears as though black lives do not matter because they are killed for the most minor things like a kid having a toy gun in a park, or a guy using a counterfeit bill at a grocery store, or a guy selling individual cigarettes, or a guy selling CDs, or trying to get help after being in a car wreck, driving and letting the police know that he had a legal firearm in the car, talking on the phone in your own backyard, sitting in your own apartment and having a cop think it was her apartment and shoot, etc.

    So the statement that Black Lives Matter is just that. It is not Black Lives Matter MORE, or all other lives do not matter, or black lives are the only lives that matter. It is saying that black lives DO matter and black people should be treated with the same amount of respect and dignity as white people.

    But this particular protest started in the US based on how people are treated differently in the US based on how they look. It may or may not translate to every single location on Earth. Maybe in some city, black people run everything and white people or asian people or whoever are the downtrodden. But grow up. If you somehow didn’t know what this all meant before now, now you do.

    Have empathy. Look outside yourself for one GD minute. No, everyone doesn’t need to kneel. But everyone should be against racism. It is not a radical idea.


    1. You fail to mention the fact that as far as committing crimes, blacks are more likely to do that AND more likely to resist arrest. They have more engagements, by population percentage, than whites do, so there are some facts that get left out, in posts such as yours. That doesn’t mean there aren’t bad cops that take to lethal force too quickly or are just evil people.

      1. tony mansell
        31st July 2020, 8:57

        Yes you are so sick of this issue you post 100 times. Im sick of reading posts from people like you so I tend not to read them. Give it a go. You can always tune in on the warm up lap if it gets you so flustered

      2. tony mansell
        31st July 2020, 8:58

        You fail to mention the fact that as far as committing crimes, blacks are more likely to do that AND more likely to resist arrest. They have more engagements, by population percentage, than whites do, so there are some facts that get left out, in posts such as yours. That doesn’t mean there aren’t bad cops that take to lethal force too quickly or are just evil people.

        That’s probably the most ignorant comment I’ve read regarding this issue, anywhere, by anybody. Well done, a new low has been reached and you found it.

        1. Well why don’t you look the stats up yourself? I have, you obviously haven’t.

          1. “All stats matter”

    2. @hobo Well said hobo, I’m amazed with this international community that there are so many uninformed opinions. I guess this is a reason Hamilton is fighting so hard for BlackLivesMatter particularly in this arena. Hopefully one day, some here will bother to do some research to see how ingrained racism is to some culture.

    3. @hobo – Again using unsubstantiated statistics, no numbers and no context to factually support a perspective or ideology = invalid argument.

  19. It’s passing bizarre to me to protest police violence by taking a knee, exactly the action that ended George Floyd’s life.

    1. Are you suggesting that the police officer attempted to co-opt the kneeling to murder a man deliberately?

      1. That’d just be racist.

        Having watched that horrific video and some analysis of different angles/timelines of his actions I think that officer was going to do harm to someone that day. Poor old George just happened to be it.

    2. kevin citron
      31st July 2020, 22:40

      mob violence and logic usually don’t go hand in hand

  20. If you force anybody to do a particular gesture – even if it’s through public shaming – then it takes away any meaning of doing that gesture. Obviously the origin of kneeling against racism was Kaepernick accusing the police and the government of systemic racism. It’s not hard to see why an international group of drivers isn’t eager to get onboard with that.

  21. Lewis Hamilton needs to adjust his stance:
    From what I see on the F1 grid there is somewhere near 100% support for “End Racism” who in their right mind would not support this? How can this possibly be a bad thing for anyone?
    However, Lewis insists on differentiating himself from this call by wearing a “Black lives Matter” shirt. The very fact that he insists on being different indicates that he sees his cause as ‘Black’ not ‘Racism’ on the whole and therefore it appears that in his heart he is not ‘anti racism’ but rather only ‘anti racism against Black people’. This, I believe is why there is all this debate and Lewis will loose wider support and only gain support from those that specifically identify with ‘BLack’. If he were smarter he would align himself completely with “End Racism” which is all inclusive and could be a world wide and powerful cause with the flexibility to focus on specific issues within the context of each specific environment.
    To those here that keep calling everyone with an argument Racist, you are way off track and clearly only seeing what your emotional attachment allows, people are simply trying to discuss the merit of the method. I have seen very few comments over endless posts on this site that I would call Racist, I have mostly only seen views and opinions on the flawed manner by which Lewis is demanding it be his way (Spoiled comes to mind), He is not showing the attributes of smart leadership but rather the attributes of dictatorship by his demands. It is 100% natural that people will resist being forced to behave in a certain manner.
    @Lewis – Aligning 100% with “End Racism” and dropping “Black Lives Matter” is the smart move, I believe the vast majority of the world population will and do support “End Racism”.

    1. This.
      Lewis demands drivers to unify in a single gesture and wears different shirt at the same time, it’s not the smartest move, and will be intepreted as double standards.

  22. ‘Hamilton has said he hopes that by the end of the season’. This rubbish better not go on all season.

    1. I think as long as he remain in the sport, so at least another three years.

  23. Thank you Keith for allowing a debate on this issue. Too many times only one voice is allowed to be heard.

    1. Young Keith runs a classy show. Hat tip.

  24. I’m not against the movement, but I don’t see F1 as a medium to send a message, or educate people, you can’t have millionaire playboys making “a stand” on tv and expect that to change their views. It simply won’t.
    I watch F1 for the racing, for the on track and off track drama, as long as it is about F1. Anything else is not going to influence me, I’m not going to smoke malboros cos Mission Winnow says I should (ha, think about that one), or buy HP, or drink red bull or wear some label because of the advertising either, and I’m certainly not going to drink the most disgusting, yet most advertised beer in the world either.
    So I can only assume, if I am not that easily swayed, or conned, or influenced by the circus, that others aren’t either, and therefore, racists watching F1 are not going to suddenly say “mm, you know what, I was wrong, I’ve been a rascist all these years and now I’m not”. Life doesn’t work that way and only education closer to home will change those peoples views.
    If Hamilton took a knee to get me to stop eating Ribeye or Venison, it would not change my view either, I would probably start eating said meats whilst I watch the race just to feel even better about myself and my choice to eat the meat I want to.
    The only people I can see that might be influenced by this would be kids, although I don’t see the knee thing making a difference, it would have to be through education or a message, afterall, kids either do things to get on band wagons, impress people, or impersonate their role models.
    I might be horribly wrong, but certainly my point of view, I just don’t see it making any difference at the start of the races, besides which, isnt that the time you go for a pee and a fresh beer before the race starts?

  25. Am pretty sure Lewis isn’t forcing anyone to support this cause. Everyone supports it albeit in different ways. All Hamilton is saying is that there should be more effort in F1 to send a strong message that racism has no place in this sport or anywhere for that matter.

  26. Everyone, including F1 needs to know this.
    BLM was founded & massively funded by a certain George Soros.
    Yes that one. He of the NWO 1%.

    1. OK, I am not fond of BLM, but using unsubstantiated conspiracy theories such as NWO to knock it is really no better than the so called statistics that people keep quoting to support it.
      But I do agree, #AllLiverMatter or better still #EndRacism

      1. Oops #AllLivesMatter

  27. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    31st July 2020, 6:48

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; it does F1 no good to be getting involved in these half hearted anti-racism shenanigans. To actually do something about it, they need to act, than just organise a pre-race kneeling competition and plaster rainbows across the track and the safety car.
    But I guess we are too deep into it to go back on the posters, livery changes etc. But I truly hope it doesn’t progress further to an extent where drivers are penalised for not kneeling, or something along those lines.

    I was called a racist by some anti racism fanatics for expressing this view, I don’t expect anything new this time around.

    1. they need to act

      I don’t like the way how it’s organised in particular, but I support the concept, because it’s whole point is to show people, that it’s everyone who needs to act. You need to act. Not only them, because they are famous influential people with media resources. Their job is to send the message for all the people to consider to become less stereotypical and biased in their mind or show the others this way of mentality. Not forcing them but to inform and get their attention. The way they’re doing it now is a bit clumsy and inefficient, they definitely need to do a better job, but it’s better that nothing.
      I was called a racist too by leftist fanatics. At the same time I clearly expirienced racism on my own not so white skin when I was a kid. And all my life through I’ve tried to speak at least with the people I know personally, family and friends, to educate them that other people should be judged by their actions and not by their race/nationality, gender or sexual orientation.

  28. Stewart Moir
    31st July 2020, 7:06

    I have little patience for petulant children.

  29. Well since BLM is an extremist authoritarian group of sycophants that want to end science and the scientific method.
    Whatever BLM has said noone should be reminded off.
    Extremism has never been the answer and BLM therefore won’t be the answer. Neither is sporting the black power sign that Lewis has been doing, because it is extremism.

    Noone from the rational middle will support extremist.
    The louder they scream, it is for the greater good, the more extremist they become.

    1. I think the BLM Movement as opposed to the BLM organisation is doing a great job (as is Keith) of allowing a platform for the ignorant and racist to proudly proclaim their racism and ignorance.

      1. Ah more of this extremist rhetoric, “if you are not with us you are ignorant and racist”.
        Ironically, It is an indictment of the pillars of society, education, poverty, and healthcare.

        1. Ah another post from you that completely misrepresents what the previous poster says. Where does it say ‘if you are not with us’? Logic not your strong point?

  30. tony mansell
    31st July 2020, 9:03

    In a way the division helps the cause. In football and other sports its universally supported and in some ways that makes it an empty gesture. In f1 the ridiculous shambolic taking of the knee by some while we watch a plane fly over or drivers turn up late, just keeps it in the news. OK we have to put up with ignorant comments, particularly, and shamefully, on here. But undoubtedly it keeps it in the headlines and does show that if you want change, don’t ask a bunch of spoilt rich white kids, because they don’t care, life is sweet for them, why would they want or care about change.

  31. Found some respect for vettel sticking up for Blm

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