“Please do not sit in silence, no matter the colour of your skin. Black Lives Matter,” says F1 world champion in Instagram post
Lewis Hamilton says he is “overcome with rage” following the death of George Floyd in America, and has urged people to speak up on behalf of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on May 25 after white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes as Floyd repeatedly told him “I can’t breathe”.
His death has sparked mass protests across the United States.
Six-time Formula 1 world champion Hamilton was posting as part of #BlackoutTuesday, a huge social media protest that is taking place around the world.
“This past week has been so dark,” Hamilton wrote. “I have failed to keep hold of my emotions. 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.
“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 peoples 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.
“Hamilton’s words come a day after he criticised the F1 community for not speaking out.
After the Briton’s post on Monday, several of his fellow drivers – including Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo – took to social media to show their support. Hamilton’s Mercedes team also posted in solidarity.
F1 has also said “we stand with all those fighting against racism in any form”.