Lewis Hamilton concedes he has been “overcome by rage” in the light of ongoing clashes involving protestors against racial injustices across the globe.
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May has put focus on racism of all forms and there have been protests and violent clashes with the authorities in many major US cities.
On Sunday Hamilton used social media to criticise the “silent” motor racing industry on the issue of racism, which prompted positive responses from many fellow Formula 1 drivers and his own Mercedes team.
In a new post today, the six-time champion described how he had been affected by the events of “dark” week, and expressed his frustration that it took a public outcry before Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with Floyd’s murder.
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“This past week has been so dark, I have failed to keep hold of my emotions,” he wrote on his social media accounts.
“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 people’s 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.”
This evening F1 added its voice, noting in a Twitter post that the organisation stands “with all those fighting against racism in any form.”
A short statement read: “We stand with you, and all people in the fight against racism.
“It is an evil that no sport or society is truly immune from. And it is only together we can oppose it and eradicate it.
“Together we are stronger.”
Hamilton has previously spoken for the need for greater diversity within motorsport, saying back in April he thought the situation was “worse than ever before”.
The 34-year-old said last June he was eager to work with F1 to help shift paradigms in the sport to create lasting change.
“I really, somehow, want to be a part of shape-shifting that with Formula 1, working in co-operation with Formula 1 and the FIA,” Hamilton said.
“I don’t know why there’s not enough university students, engineers, mechanics and even within the media, coming through from more diverse backgrounds.
“I don’t know, that’s always been the way it is today, but I see a real opportunity there to be a part of shape-shifting that.”