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'Ignorant and uneducated' | Lewis Hamilton on Ecclestone race comments

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

12:28 28 Jun 2020

Lewis Hamilton has responded angrily to comments on race from former Formula One chief Bernie Eccelestone that 'In lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what White people are.'

Six-time world champion Hamilton has been vocal in calls for more diversity in his sport, and has been a prominent supporter of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement.

Recent comments on race were instigated by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a white police officer, which Hamilton said at the time made him feel "completely overcome with rage."

89-year-old Ecclestone this week made some controversial comments to CNN, while still praising the work the British driver has been doing for the sport.

"I don't think it's going to do anything bad or good for Formula One. It'll just make people think which is more important.
"I think that's the same for everybody. People ought to think a little bit and think: 'Well, what the hell. Somebody's not the same as White people and Black people should think the same about White people.'
"In lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what White people are."
Hamilton responded, writing on Instagram that Ecclestone was now a step removed from the sport in the modern era.

"So sad and disappointing to read these comments. Bernie is out of the sport and a different generation but this exactly what is wrong – ignorant and uneducated comments which show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen.

"It makes complete sense to me now that nothing was said or done to make our sport more diverse or to address the racial abuse I received throughout my career.

"If someone who has run the sport for decades has such a lack of understanding of the deep-rooted issues we as black people deal with every day, how can we expect all the people who work under him to understand? It starts at the top.

"Now the time has come for change. I will not stop pushing to create an inclusive future for our sport with equal opportunity for all. To create a world that provides equal opportunity for minorities."

Formula One themselves also reacted to Ecclestone's comments, distancing themselves from his views in a statement.

“At a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone’s comments that have no place in Formula 1 or society.

"Mr Ecclestone has played no role in Formula 1 since he left our organisation in 2017, his title Chairman Emeritus, being honorific, expired in January 2020."

The organisation recently launched an equality and diversity taskforce to increase opportunities for minority groups.

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Read more about

Bernie Ecclestone F1 Formula 1 Formula One George Floyd Lewis Hamilton Racism

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