Black Lives Matter: Lewis Hamilton attends peaceful protest at Hyde Park
Hamilton: "[...] so happy to see people of all ages, sporting Black Lives Matter signs and saying it just as passionately as I was [...] we cannot stop now. Keep pushing"
Last Updated: 22/06/20 9:07am
Lewis Hamilton attended a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest in London's Hyde Park on Sunday and urged everyone supporting the movement to "keep pushing".
Hamilton also highlighted the diversity of the crowd at the rally and said he believes "positive change will come".
The 35-year-old, Formula 1's six-time champion and only black driver, has been campaigning passionately against racial injustice with a series of powerful statements on social media over the past month.
"Went down to Hyde Park today for the peaceful protest and I was so proud to see in person so many people of all races and backgrounds supporting this movement," he posted on Sunday.
"I was proud to be out there acknowledging and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and my black heritage. I was so happy to see people of all ages, sporting Black Lives Matter signs and saying it just as passionately as I was.
"I was also happy to see so many white supporters out there today in the name of equality for all. It was really moving. I'm feeling extremely positive that change will come, but we cannot stop now. Keep pushing."
'Your silence is still deafening'
Hamilton's uploads followed another message on social media, in which he criticised others for remaining silent.
"Your silence is still deafening," wrote Hamilton, who posted a similar message three weeks ago criticising the F1 community. "You may not be racist in your silence but we need you to be ANTI-racist.
"That means we need you to educate yourself and others.
"Speak out to help us bring awareness to the injustices and prejudices that black people and people of colour face on a daily basis, and have been facing for hundreds of years.
"We cannot be silent today! We need your voice. We need you to get out of your comfort zone and support us by being anti-racist and letting people know where you stand in this fight.
"Encourage your family, friends and colleagues so we can continue to make change!"
Hamilton's diversity commission
Hamilton's appearance at the protest comes after he launched a research project called The Hamilton Commission aimed at improving diversity in the motorsport industry - with F1's world champion saying that "the time for platitudes and token gestures is over".
"Despite my success in the sport, the institutional barriers that have kept F1 highly exclusive persist," wrote Hamilton in a Sunday Times column.
"It is not enough to point to me, or to a single new black hire, as a meaningful example of progress. Thousands of people are employed across this industry and that group needs to be more representative of society.
"When I look back in 20 years, I want to see the sport that gave a shy, working-class black kid from Stevenage so much opportunity, become as diverse as the complex and multicultural world we live in."
Hamilton has been backed by Mercedes and his sport for speaking out in recent weeks, and F1 will allow drivers to show their support for the BLM movement once the 2020 season starts on July 5 in Austria.
F1 and the FIA are also working on their own plans.