F1 star Lewis Hamilton hits out at fellow drivers for ‘staying silent’ in George Floyd racism row


‘I know who you are and I see you’: F1 star Lewis Hamilton hits out at his fellow drivers for ‘staying silent’ during George Floyd racism row and insists he ‘stands alone’ in a ‘white dominated sport’ as violent protests erupt around the world

  • Lewis Hamilton has suffered from racist abuse during his sporting career
  • The Formula One driver criticised other F1 drivers for staying silent over racism
  • Protests are taking place this weekend over the George Floyd racism row
  • Mr Floyd was the subject of an attack by a white police officer in Minnesota 

Lewis Hamilton has hit out at the Formula One community over a lack of racial diversity amid the George Floyd protests this weekend. 

‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstrations are taking place around the world after Mr Floyd died having had a knee pressed into his neck for more than eight minutes while being detained by white police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday.

Hamilton, 35, who has been the subject of racist abuse during his F1 career, says he feels isolated in trying to combat racial discrimination in a sporting discipline he described as ‘white dominated’.

Lewis Hamilton has hit out at the F1 community for staying silent amid the George Floyd row

Protests have been taking place across the world as part of the Black Lives Matter movement

Protests have been taking place across the world as part of the Black Lives Matter movement

Hamilton criticised the lack of racial diversity in his own sporting discipline on Instagram

Hamilton criticised the lack of racial diversity in his own sporting discipline on Instagram

The six-time F1 champion posted on Instagram: ‘I see those of you staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay in the midst of injustice.

‘Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone. I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us. 

‘Just know I know who you who you are (sic) and I see you.’

Protests in America have seen violent clashes with police, with dozens of American cities being set ablaze, with Mr Floyd’s death becoming a symbol for systemic police brutality against African-Americans.

Hamilton also called for several world leaders to educate their countries on racial principles

Hamilton also called for several world leaders to educate their countries on racial principles

Mr Floyd's death came after Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his head for eight minutes whilst restraining him for a non-violent crime

Mr Floyd’s death came after Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his head for eight minutes whilst restraining him for a non-violent crime

Mr Floyd's death on Monday has sparked protests throughout the week and has become a symbol for systemic police brutality against African Americans

Mr Floyd’s death on Monday has sparked protests throughout the week and has become a symbol for systemic police brutality against African Americans

Meanwhile, the UK and Europe has largely seen more peaceful protests so far. 

Chants of ‘I can’t breathe’ – the words Mr Floyd spoke whilst being restrained by Chauvin, 44 – were heard across London this weekend while protesters in Cardiff were holding placards which said, ‘The UK is not innocent.’ 

Hamilton admits that he does not support the violent protests but urged the need to resolve racial inequality on a global level. 

He added: ‘I do not stand with those looting and burning buildings but with those who are protesting peacefully. 

‘There can be no peace until our so called leaders make change. This is not just America, this is the 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 inequality, racism, classism and that we are all born the same!

Hamilton (pictured middle) says he stands alone as a black F1 driver in a white dominated sport

Hamilton (pictured middle) says he stands alone as a black F1 driver in a white dominated sport

‘We are not born with racism and hate in our hearts, it is taught by those we look up to.’

The 35-year-old, who is widely-regarded as one of Britain’s greatest ever sportsmen, has suffered from abuse due to the colour of his skin in the past.

His team manager at Mercedes, Toto Wolff, revealed the racist abuse he suffered as a small child still hurts today.

Wolff said last year: ‘When Lewis was younger, he was the only black kid among the white kids, and I know he was racially abused on the track.

The six-time F1 champion has suffered from racist abuse earlier in his sporting career

The six-time F1 champion has suffered from racist abuse earlier in his sporting career 

‘If, as a child, you have had to overcome abuse and discrimination, on one side it makes you a stronger personality but on the other side it also leaves scars.

‘Today, Lewis has a good and mature perspective, but the scars are certainly there.’

Hamilton has recently called sport governing bodies out for not administering harsh enough punishments on offenders of racist abuse.  

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