Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, a six- time Formula One Champion has been vocal in his disappointed by the comments made by Bernie Ecclestone, his former F1 boss.
Hamilton is the only black driver in Formula One said in a recent interview he was shocked to learn Ecclestone claimed in a recent CNN interview that “in lots of cases, Black people are more racist” than white people.
Hamilton posted a response on his Instagram account stating; “Damn, I just don’t even know where to start on this one … so sad and disappointing to read these comments. This is 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.”
Hamilton sets up commission towards diversity in motorsport
Ecclestone’s comments came after the interviewer asked him how he felt about Hamilton being the one to set up a commission with the intent to increase diversity in motorsport. Ecclestone replied stating; “I don’t think it’s going to do anything bad or good for Formula One. It will just make people think, which is more important. People ought to think a little bit and say ‘what the hell’, somebody’s not the same as white people and that Black people should think the same about white people. Because I think in lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what white people are.”
The interviewer pushed Ecclestone to back up his comments with evidence to which the former F1 boss stated; “Things over the years I’ve noticed and there’s no need for it.” Lewis Hamilton, who recent was in attendance for a march in London in support of the Black Lives Matter movement has been vocal recently about racism said he experienced feelings on “so much anger, sadness and disbelief” after learning a Minneapolis police office killed a handcuffed George Floyd.
Ecclestone, who could have done more to explain his comments instead continued to speak in a manner that was deemed offensive by stating; “Lewis is a little bit special.” He then went on to add: “First he’s very, very, very talented as a driver and he seems to be now extremely talented when he’s standing up making speeches. This last campaign he’s doing for the Black people is wonderful. He’s doing a great job and it’s people (who are) easily recognizable that people listen to.”
Formula One has announced it will set up an “We Race As One” initiative, which is being kick started with a $1 million donation by the chairman of F1, Chase Carey. This is part due to the current climate demanding change, but also Hamilton’s own experience that he has seen throughout his racing career.