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Hamilton criticises F1 for staying silent on Floyd death


LONDON (Reuters) – Six times Formula One motor racing champion Lewis Hamilton has criticised his sport for its silence on the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white U.S. police officer knelt on his neck.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Australian Grand Prix – Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia – March 12, 2020 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during press conference REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The death in Minneapolis triggered a wave of outrage and violent protests in the United States.

Hamilton, Formula One’s first black world champion, spends much of his time in America and spoke out on the issue in an Instagram story on Sunday.

“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,” wrote the Mercedes driver.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

McLaren driver Lando Norris, Hamilton’s compatriot, was one of those who did comment, adding a line to his profile on the Twitch streaming platform that said “sign the !BLM petitions #BLACKLIVESMATTER”

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Canadian Nicholas Latifi, who is due to drive for Williams this season, said on Twitter ‘This has to stop #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.”

Hamilton has spoken out before about the lack of diversity in motor racing.

“There really is the most minimal diversity within this sport and I really somehow want to be a part of shape-shifting that with Formula One,” he said a year ago.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Lincoln Feast.



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