crowdedstreets (crowdedstreets) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Lewis Hamilton responds to criticism of #BLM activism

Lewis Hamilton has responded to remarks made by motor racing icons and melting wax figurines Sir Jackie Stewart and Mario Andretti, saying he is disappointed.

Last week, Andretti, the American-Italian motorsports giant who is one of only two drivers ever to have won races in Formula 1, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship, and NASCAR, was quoted saying "I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but why become a militant? He's always been accepted and he's earned everyone's respect. I think the whole point of this is pretentious. I feel that way. And it's creating a problem that doesn't exist."

Meanwhile, three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart was quoted saying, "I think Lewis has been a great example to lots of people [...] He's quite vocal about these elements, I don't think there's as big a problem as there might seem [...] There is no resistance for change if someone is clever and good at what they do. They will be accepted in Formula 1."

ONTD motorsports fans (all 3 of you) may recall the recent incident involving the placement of a noose in black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace's garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Andretti commented on this incident, saying that it "became bigger than it should be" and that he wishes "politics didn't get mixed up with sport".

Hamilton expressed his disappointment in the mayonnaise-complected former racers on his Instagram stories, now expired.

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) launched the We Race As One campaign this season as a lukewarm move towards seeming inclusive.

With three races down so far in the much-delayed 2020 season, the campaign has so far included cool t-shirts and some hashtags. The Mercedes-Petronas team, for whom Hamilton is one of two drivers, acknowledged the campaign by changing their livery colour (i.e. the colour of their car and the matching driving suits) from silver/white to black.

Hamilton, the only black driver on the grid and the only one hailing from a working-class beginning, has demonstrated his support for the BLM movement and ongoing protests all around the world by kneeling during the starting ceremony of each race and has held up the Black Power Salute on the podium during the celebration of his 2 wins this season.

The other 19 drivers in F1 this year have joined Hamilton in donning their league-mandated "End Racism" shirts, and a smattering have even taken to kneeling alongside him. However, the July 19 race in Hungary was marked by a disorganized salute to the campaign where some drivers rushed to their spots to stand for the opening ceremony, some kneeled and then rose right away, and the live broadcast of the ceremony was cut off prematurely. Hamilton criticized the botched ceremony on his Instagram and called for more of an effort from everyone involved:

Source: Sky Sports Tweet, CBC, Hamilton's IG, and me from watching the races

Ontd, are you one of the only POC among your peers? Are you "militant"?
Tags: politics, sports / athletes
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