Lewis Hamilton hits out at F1 for 'silence' over George Floyd death
Hamilton: "Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport"; A number of F1 drivers have posted since Hamilton's message on social media
Last Updated: 11/06/20 3:01pm
Lewis Hamilton has criticised the Formula 1 community for "staying silent" after the death of American George Floyd, with the six-time champion saying he is "one of the only people of colour yet I stand alone".
Floyd was an unarmed black man who died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes as Floyd told them "I can't breathe".
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His death has sparked mass protests across the United States, with governors in several states calling in National Guard troops in an attempt to maintain order.
Several sports stars have called for action to be taken, including England winger Jadon Sancho, who revealed a message calling for "justice" for Floyd after scoring for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.
Hamilton, the first and only black F1 world champion, has criticised others in the sport for failing to speak up on the issue.
"I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice," the Mercedes driver wrote on Instagram.
"Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport. I'm one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone.
"I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can't stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you."
In a second post, Hamilton added: "I do not stand with those looting and burning buildings but those who are protesting peacefully. There can be no peace until our so called leaders make change."
Mercedes have backed their star driver's comments:
F1 drivers: 'Racism needs to be met with action'
Since Hamilton's post, a number of F1 drivers have posted on social media.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc wrote: "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 myself earlier than today. And I was completely wrong.
I still struggle to find the words to describe the atrocity of some videos I've seen on Internet.— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) May 31, 2020
Racism needs to be met with actions, not silence. Please be actively participating, engaging and encouraging others to spread awareness. 2/3
"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 #BlackLivesMatters."
Leclerc's words were echoed by Williams' George Russell:
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. But ultimately, no matter how uncomfortable it may be to speak out, silence achieves nothing. [2/3] #BlackLivesMatter— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) June 1, 2020
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. [3/3] #BlackLivesMatter— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) June 1, 2020
Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, who will cross to McLaren at the end of the season, said Floyd's death was "a disgrace" and called for unity against racism.
View this post on Instagram
Seeing the news the last few days has left me saddened, what happened to George Floyd and what continues to happen in today’s society is a disgrace. Now more than ever we need to stand together, unified together. Racism is toxic and needs to be addressed not with violence or silence but with unity and action. We need to stand up, we need to be a WE. Let’s be better people. It’s 2020 ffs. Black lives matter.
"Racism is toxic and needs to be addressed not with violence or silence but with unity and action," the Australian wrote on Instagram.
McLaren driver Lando Norris shared a #blacklivesmatter petition on his social media accounts:
I have fans and followers. Support and love. And I have power through this to lead and inspire so many. But we also stand for what’s right. This time I ask you to do something and take action. Click the link and make a difference... #blacklivesmatter https://t.co/IrVrgU2JBA pic.twitter.com/ee2A0goz84— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) June 1, 2020
While Carlos Sainz also posted:
Sergio Perez has also been sharing videos of support on his Twitter.
Canadian Nicholas Latifi, who is due to drive for Williams this season, said on Twitter, "This has to stop #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd."