Lewis Hamilton's decision to talk about racial injustice has sparked a wave of solidarity from his fellow drivers, with many sharing messages of support across social media
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May has led to civil unrest, protest, and rioting across the United States, as well as sparking wider conversations on the topic of racial injustice.
Lewis Hamilton, the only black driver in Formula 1 history and one of the few people of colour in an industry traditionally dominated by white men was compelled to speak about about the topic in relation to his sport. Speaking on Instagram Stories, Hamilton wrote:
“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 can’t stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you…
“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.”
Following Hamilton’s post, a wave of messages of support has poured from the F1 community.
Hamilton’s status transcends the world of Formula 1 and motorsport and he has often used his platform to speak about wider global issues. In the space of half a day and a couple of Instagram slides, he’s not only inspired some of his colleagues to speak out about a topic which, as some have admit, is something they’ve been uncomfortable doing, but also opened up a wider conversation about how these issues can affect motorsport.
It just goes to show the influence that Hamilton has, as well as the importance that he uses his status as a force of positive change - and to inspire others to do the same. We can all do better.