Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has criticised his Formula 1 peers for “staying silent” amid the ongoing global protests against racial injustice.
Protests and rallies have been held across the world in recent days following the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by police in Minneapolis on 25 May.
Numerous prominent sporting stars and public figures have used their platforms to lend their support to the ongoing protests and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, including Hamilton, who has shared regular posts in recent days.
On Sunday, Hamilton took to Instagram to call out his industry for “staying silent” on the matter through a post on his Stories.
“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” Hamilton wrote. “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.”
Hamilton’s compatriot and McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris currently has a message on his Twitch bio reading: “Sign BLM petitions #BLACKLIVESMATTER.”
Hamilton went on to reiterate his support for those protesting peacefully, but added: “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.”
Hamilton has previously spoken out about the need for greatest diversity within motorsport, saying back in April he thought the situation was “worse than ever before”.
The six-time world champion said last June he was eager to work with F1’s leaders to try and help shift paradigms within the sport in order to create lasting change.
“I really, somehow, want to be a part of shape-shifting that with Formula 1, working in co-operation with Formula 1 and the FIA,” Hamilton said. “I don't know why there's not enough university students, engineers, mechanics and even within the media, coming through from more diverse backgrounds.
“I don't know, that's always been the way it is today, but I see a real opportunity there to be a part of shape-shifting that.
“So, in 20 years, I want to look back [and] if I ever hear someone whispering, they would say that I was a part of shifting that.”