LONDON (Reuters) – Six times Formula One motor racing champion Lewis Hamilton has criticised his sport for its silence on the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white U.S. police officer knelt on his neck.
The death in Minneapolis triggered a wave of outrage and violent protests in the United States.
Hamilton, Formula One’s first black world champion, spends much of his time in America and spoke out on the issue on Instagram on Sunday.
“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” wrote the Mercedes driver.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
In a second post, Hamilton added: “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.”
Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, who will cross to McLaren at the end of the season, said Floyd’s death was “a disgrace” and called for unity against racism.
“Racism is toxic and needs to be addressed not with violence or silence but with unity and action,” the Australian wrote on Instagram.
McLaren driver Lando Norris added 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.”