Lewis Hamilton attacks 'white-dominated' F1 over George Floyd 'silence'

Lewis Hamilton has criticised his F1 peers for not speaking out against George Floyd's death. Pic: Getty

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has hit out at those within his sport for remaining silent over the death of George Floyd in the United States.

Floyd – an African-American man – died in Minneapolis after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck during an arrest on Monday.

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Violent protests have broken out across the USA since Floyd's death, during which he was filmed crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan has been among the high-profile sports stars headlining the outcry for change in the country, which has been engulfed by riots.

However, Mercedes star Hamilton says his "white-dominated" sport has been alarmingly silent when it comes to the issue.

Hamilton – the first and only black driver in F1's history – used social media to hit out at his motorsport peers.

"I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice," Hamilton wrote on Instagram.

"Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport.

"I'm one of the only people of colour there, yet I stand alone. I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can't stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are... and I see you."

Hamilton, who has claimed six world titles, continued: "I do not stand with those looting and burning buildings but those who are protesting peacefully. There can be no peace until our so-called leaders make change.

"This is not just America, this is the UK, this is Spain, this is Italy and all over.

"The way minorities are treated has to change, how you educate those in your country of equality, racism, classism and that we are all the same. We are not born with racism and hate in our hearts, it is taught by those we look up to."

F1 rivals show support after Hamilton’s message

McLaren driver Lando Norris, Hamilton's compatriot, was one of those who did comment, adding a line to his profile on the Twitch streaming platform that said "sign the !BLM petitions #BLACKLIVESMATTER"

Canadian Nicholas Latifi, who is due to drive for Williams this season, said on Twitter 'This has to stop #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd."

Ferrari star Charles Leclerc also tweeted his support after admitting that he initially felt "uncomfortable" weighing in on the subject.

"To be completely honest, I felt out of place and uncomfortable sharing my thoughts on social media about the whole situation and this is why I haven't expressed myself earlier than today. And I was completely wrong," Leclerc wrote.

"I still struggle to find the words to describe the atrocity of some of the videos I've seen on the Internet.

"Racism needs to be met with actions, not silence.

"Please be actively participating, engaging and encouraging others to spread awareness.

"It is our responsibility to speak out against injustice. Don't be silent. I stand #BlackLivesMatters."

Hamilton has spoken out before about the lack of diversity in motor racing.

"There really is the most minimal diversity within this sport and I really somehow want to be a part of shape-shifting that with Formula One," he said a year ago.

Aussie Daniel Ricciardo also echoed the sentiments of his rivals, labelling racism a "disgrace" and calling for unity and action.

“Seeing the news the last few days has left me saddened, what happened to George Floyd and what continues to happen in today’s society is a disgrace,” Ricciardo posted.

“Now more than ever we need to stand together, unified together.

“Racism is toxic and needs to be addressed not with violence or silence but with unity and action.

“We need to stand up, we need to be a WE. Let’s be better people.

“It’s 2020 ffs.

“Black lives matter.”

with agencies