Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton ‘reacted with moderation’ to his six fellow drivers who refused to take a knee to the ground before the start of the Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg on Sunday.
Max Verstappen, among others, remained standing while a message was read out in which Formula One took a stand against racism and discrimination.
“Nobody is perfect, but if we all participate and do our part, we can see change. I really believe that,” said Hamilton on Instagram.
The Mercedes driver, who finished fourth in Austria, has taken a strong stand in the debate on racism and discrimination in recent weeks.
“I may get criticism in the media and from other angles, but this fight is about equality, not politics or promotion.”
Before the race, Hamilton had once again explained his views and intentions to his colleagues. He also stated, among other things, that “anyone who remains silent is usually an accomplice”.
Nevertheless, Verstappen (Red Bull), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Carlos Sainz (McLaren), Daniil Kviat (Alpha Tauri), Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo) chose not to get down on one knee.
They wore a black T-shirt on the starting grid with the text “End Racism”. Hamilton was the only one to wear the words “Black Lives Matter”.
To say “nobody is perfect” is so arrogant! As if there was just a single way to show support, sharing of values and a stand for what is right.
If you go to catholic churches, some people kneel, some others remain standing and nobody looks at these as being less respectful or less commited to their faith.
Sorry, I don’t think Lewis was being arrogant all . I think those who refused to take the knee were the ones who were arrogant . These closeted multi- millionaires who have never suffered the scourge of racism or have to worry what they are going to do when they are no longer drivers could not take one minute o their lives to show a gesture and show empathy for millions who are less fortunate than them. What these drivers who chose not to take the knee did was undermined the messages of “We race together”.
It was shameful to see all the Red Bull mechanics around Verstappens car take the knee with pride .Even a new boy Albon but the Red Bull team leader Verstappen chose to stand instead. The word arrogant should be applied to him not Lewis . Would it really have hurt him or the other shallow, small men like Le Clerc and Raikkonen to show solidarity for a good cause ?
I was proud to see most of the drivers saw the big picture that the cause was about man’s inhumanity to man and the need to oppose it . Even if the knee does not do anything millions of black people around the world (like me) saw these young white men who took the knee with Hamilton , and were moved by their display of solidarity and support .