Formula 1

Hamilton joins Black Lives Matter protest in London

Jun 21 2020
By Edd Straw and Scott Mitchell

Six-times Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is participating in a Black Lives Matter demonstration in London today.

Hamilton, Formula 1’s only black driver, uploaded a photo to his Instagram account showing himself with his face covered, a “black is a vibe” T-shirt and holding a sign with the message “Black Lives Matter” on it.

He subsequently posted a message about his participation in the protest.

“Went down to Hyde Park today for the peaceful protest and I was so proud to see in person so many people of all races and backgrounds supporting this movement,” Hamilton wrote.

“I was proud to be out there acknowledging and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and my black heritage. I was so happy to see people of all ages, sporting Black Lives Matter signs and saying it just as passionately as I was.

“I was also happy to see so many white supporters out there today in the name of equality for all. It was really moving. I’m feeling extremely positive that change will come, but we cannot stop now.

“Keep pushing. #blacklivesmatter”

 

These uploads from the protest came soon after a message from Hamilton in which he referenced the “silence” on discrimination he criticised weeks ago.

“Your silence is still deafening,” wrote Hamilton. “You may not be racist in your silence but we need you to be ANTI-racist.

“That means we need you to educate yourself and others.

“Speak out to help us bring awareness to the injustices and prejudices that black people and people of colour face on a daily basis, and have been facing for hundreds of years.

“We cannot be silent today! We need your voice. We need you to get out of your comfort zone and support us by being anti-racist and letting people know where you stand in this fight.

“Encourage your family, friends and colleagues so we can continue to make change!”

Hamilton has emerged as a powerful voice on Black Lives Matter, with a series of strong statements on social media over the past month.

This culminated in announcing the creation of The Hamilton Commission in The Times. This is a research initiative in association with the Royal Academy of Engineers to explore ways to use motorsport to engage more young people into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

“It will explore areas including lack of role models and career services at schools, opportunities to engage more black youth with STEM extracurriculars, barriers that prevent people from more diverse backgrounds joining the racing industry, and problematic hiring practices that result in fewer black graduates entering engineering professions,” wrote Hamilton.

Hamilton had previously described himself as “completely overcome with rage” at racial injustice, eliciting a series of supportive responses from his rivals.

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