Mercedes driver and six-time champion Lewis Hamilton has slammed Formula One for staying silent on the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis last week after a white police police officer knelt on his neck.
Hamilton took to his Instagram account and posted on his stories about how some of the biggest stars in motor racing are staying silent “in the midst of injustice”. He also called the industry a “white-dominated” sport.
“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. 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 cant stand alongside us. Just know I know who you... are and I see you,” he wrote.
In the following story, he wrote, “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. 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 equality, racism, classism and that we are all the same! We are not born with racism and hate in our hearts, it is taught by those we look up to.”
Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo also took to Instagram, saying that Floyd’s death is “a disgrace” and people need to stand together now “more than ever”.
“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,” he wrote.
Floyd’s murder has sparked outrage across the US, with many states imposing curfews as violent protests and unrest continue. His death, and that of many others who were killed due to police brutality, has once again put the spotlight on the systemic oppression and discrimination of black people, and the movement Black Lives Matter.