‘Offended’ Hamilton tells Marko to wake up to racism!
An angry Lewis Hamilton took to Instagram to criticize Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko for a comment attributed to the latter about the Mercedes driver’s activism against racism.
According to reports, Marko was allegedly quoted by German broadcaster RTL as having called Hamilton’s campaigning against racial injustice and support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement “a distraction”.
However, the quote is nowhere to be seen on RTL’s website or elsewhere, which therefore calls into question the comment’s veracity.
- Brundle and Chandhok back Hamilton’s campaign on racism
But Hamilton apparently felt justified to call out the Austrian just in case, chastising Marko in a ‘stories’ post on his Instagram account.
“Helmut, it deeply saddens me that you consider fighting for equal treatment of black people and people of colour, a distraction,” wrote Hamilton, who also referred to the discrimination he endured in his early years in the sport.
“I’m actually quite offended,” he continued. “A distraction for me was fans showing up in black face to taunt my family on race weekends.
“A distraction for me was the unnecessary and additional adversity and unfair treatment I faced as a child, teen, and even now, due to the colour of my skin.
“I hope this speaks volumes to the few people of colour you do have on your team, about your priorities and how you view them. Wake up. This sport needs to change.”
Instagram ‘Stories’ are ephemeral by nature, and Hamilton’s specific post taking aim at Marko has since… disappeared!
It’s unclear if Hamilton’s reaction was based on fact or fiction, or whether Marko intervened to have the story that included his alleged insensitive remark taken down.
In the end, it might all be much ado about nothing, although Hamilton’s vocal stance on social injustice is unlikely to get lower.
The Mercedes driver – the only black driver in the history of F1 – has been active on social media since the emergence of protests in America and in many other countries against racism following the death last month in Minneapolis of George Floyd.
The six-time world champion hasn’t held back his support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, and many believe the F1 star will indulge in a public display of his feelings in Austria by taking a knee, an act of protest initiated in 2016 by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
F1 has confirmed that drivers will be allowed at events to take a knee in protest of events of late, racism and injustice.
“This is a very important issue and we support anyone who wants to show their support in the fight against racism,” an F1 spokesman said.
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