Lewis Hamilton ‘overcome with rage’ at events in the US

Thursday, June 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Demonstrators protests the death of George Floyd near Lafayette Square across the White House in Washington, DC yesterday. Anti-racism protests have put several US cities under curfew to suppress rioting, following the death of George Floyd in police custody. Photo/PD/AFP

London, Wednsday

Lewis Hamilton says he is “completely overcome with rage” at events in the USA following George Floyd’s death.

It is the second time Hamilton has spoken out this week in the wake of protests breaking out across the US.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on 25 May after a white police officer, since charged with murder, knelt on his neck for several minutes.

“This past week has been so dark. I have failed to keep hold of my emotions,” Hamilton, 35, said. 

“I have felt so much anger, sadness and disbelief.”

On Sunday Hamilton, Formula 1’s first black driver, hit out at other senior F1 figures for not speaking out, saying: “I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice.”

That prompted a number of top drivers to express their own outrage on social media.

On Tuesday, Hamilton issued another statement, saying he had been “completely overcome with rage at the sight of such blatant disregard for the lives of other people”. 

It must stop

He added: “The injustice we are seeing our brothers and sisters face all over the world time and time again is disgusting and must stop.”

Formula One multiple champion Lewis Hamilton reacts during an interview in London yesterday. Photo/PD/AFP

He said that while “many people seem surprised”, the situation was “not surprising to us”.

“Those of us who 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,” Hamilton said.

“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.”

Hamilton also referred to the delay before Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, was arrested.

“It took hundreds of thousands of people’s complaints and buildings to burn before officials reacted and decided to arrest Derek Chauvin for murder - and that is sad,” he said.

“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.”

Shortly after Hamilton issued his post, F1 made its first statement on the matter.

“We stand with you, and all people in the fight against racism,” it said.

“It is an evil that no sport or society is truly immune from. And it is only together we can oppose an eradicate it. 

“Together we are stronger.”

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