Lewis Hamilton Calls Out Formula One Rivals For Not Taking A Knee
Promoting anti-racism, Lewis Hamilton and other Formula One drivers took a knee on the grid ahead of the British Grand Prix. However, others decided to stand.
In contrast to the previous, messier Hungarian Grand Prix, the event on Sunday, August 2, was far more organised with regards to pro-diversity and anti-racism demonstrations.
While Hamilton and many others took a knee, echoing the actions of other sportspeople across the world, seven stood – including Kevin Magnussen, who previously took a knee.
Hamilton praised the FIA motorsport governing body for doing a ‘much, much better job after a lot of discussion, a lot of talking last week about how we can come together and do a better job,’RaceFans.net reports.
However, he took aim at the decisions of Magnussen, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Kimi Raikkonen, Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat and Antonio Giovinazz, noting how others have been taking part no matter which country they come from.
I’m not going to tell you what my opinion on whether or not everyone needs to or not. But if you look at all the other sports, look at basketball, you look at football and Spanish teams, Italian teams, teams all over the world, no matter what nationality or mixture they are, they’re all doing it united. You’ve got players from Russia you’ve got players from Spain.
When the reason for perhaps not doing it is how you think it will feel how would it be perceived in your country, all you have to do is look at the other sports because they are doing it. So I do hope that bit by bit we can come more and more together and more united.
Jean Todt, president of the FIA, applauded Hamilton for trying to ‘use his image, his voice, his leadership to protect something’. He added: ‘I admire people who engage where they believe they can bring something,’ BBC News reports.
While the FIA has given suggestions for how racers can indicate support for anti-racism, Todt said: ‘It would be inappropriate to push people to do something they don’t feel. Life does matter. My wife [actress Michelle Yeoh] is Chinese. She deserves the same attention. White, Black, everyone needs attention. Colour, religion, everybody’s life matters.’
Hamilton, who won the race, also thanked his fellow racers who wore ‘End Racism’ shirts. As for Magnussen, ‘I have not spoken to him. But bit by bit I think we’ll just try to improve each other’s understanding,’ he said.
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