Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has expressed his latest thoughts following clashes between the authorities and peaceful anti-racism protestors in the USA – and says that he has been “overcome with rage”.
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 has put a renewed focus on racial injustice, and there have been protests and violent clashes with the authorities in many major US cities.
On Sunday Hamilton used social media to challenge “the biggest stars” and specifically people in the motor racing industry not to stay silent on the issue of racism, which prompted positive responses from many fellow drivers and his own Mercedes team. Hamilton has been widely praised for speaking up.
In a new social media post today, he described how emotional this week has been for him, and expressed his frustration that it took a public outcry before Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with Floyd’s murder.
“This past week has been so dark, I have failed to keep hold of my emotions,” he wrote. “I have felt so much anger, sadness and disbelief in what my eyes have seen.
“I am completely overcome with rage at the sight of such blatant disregard for the lives of our people. The injustice that we are seeing our brothers and sisters face all over the world time and time again is disgusting, and MUST stop.
“So many people seem surprised, but to us unfortunately, it is not surprising. Those of us who are black, brown or in-between see it every day and should not have to feel as though we were born guilty, don’t belong or fear for our lives based on the colour of our skin.
“Will Smith said it best, racism is not getting worse, it’s being filmed. Only now that the world is so well-equipped with cameras has this issue been able to come to light in such a big way.”
He continued: “It is only when there are riots and screams for justice that the powers that be cave in and do something, but by then it is far too late and not enough has been done.
“It took hundreds of thousands of people’s complaints and buildings to burn before officials reacted and decided to arrest Derek Chauvin for murder, and that is sad.
“Unfortunately, America is not the only place where racism lives and we continue to fail as humans when we cannot stand up for what is right. Please do not sit in silence, no matter the colour of your skin. Black Lives Matter.”
This evening F1 added its voice, noting in a Twitter post that the organisation stands “with all those fighting against racism in any form.”
A short statement read: “We stand with you, and all people in the fight against racism.
“It is an evil that no sport or society is truly immune from.
“And it is only together we can oppose it and eradicate it.
“Together we are stronger.”