Lewis Hamilton condemns ‘ignorant’ Ecclestone

Formula 1

Six-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has expressed his disappointment at racially divisive comments made by former Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone.

In an interview with CNN, Eccleston said “in lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what white people are,” prompting Hamilton to call out the 89-year-old on social media on Friday evening.

“So sad and disappointing to read these comments,” Hamilton said via his Instagram.

“Bernie is out of the sport and a different generation, but 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 went on to say it made “complete sense” that the sport failed to act on inequality and racial harassment under the leadership of someone like Ecclestone, declaring it “starts at the top.”

“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,” Hamilton wrote.

“If someone who ran the sport for decades has such a lack of understanding of the deep routed 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.

“I will continue to use my voice to represent those who don’t have one, and to speak for those who are underrepresented to provide an opportunity to have a chance in our sport.”

Earlier, Formula One also released a statement distancing the governing body from Ecclestone’s view.

“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 One or society,” the statement said.

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

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