LONDON, June 22 — Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton marched in the latest anti-racism protest in London on Sunday, describing the experience as “really moving”.
The 35-year-old Hamilton, the only black driver in F1, joined the protests which have become common since the death of George Floyd in the United States last month.
“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 on Instagram.
“I was proud to be out there acknowledging and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and my black heritage.
“I was also happy to see so many white supporters out there 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.”
Hamilton also posted a photograph of himself holding up a Black Lives Matter sign while his T-shirt slogan said: ‘Black is a vibe’.
The six-time world champion also wore a yellow scarf around his face.
Earlier, Hamilton had penned an article for Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper in which he said he was launching his own diversity body to attract more black youngsters into motor racing, insisting the “time for token gestures is over”.
Hamilton, a powerful and influential voice, said he was teaming up with Britain’s Royal Academy of Engineering to launch The Hamilton Commission.
“I’ve been fighting the stigma of racism throughout my racing career — from kids throwing things at me while karting, to being taunted by fans in black face at a 2007 Grand Prix, one of my first Formula One races,” wrote Hamilton.
“Despite my success in the sport, the institutional barriers that have kept F1 highly exclusive persist.
“It is not enough to point to me, or to a single new black hire, as a meaningful example of progress. Thousands of people are employed across this industry and that group needs to be more representative of society.”
The research partnership wants to encourage young black people to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Hamilton hopes that will then open up avenues to boost the number of minorities represented in Formula One.
“The time for platitudes and token gestures is over,” he insisted. — AFP