Lewis Hamilton has condemned Bernie Ecclestone’s comments on racism as “ignorant and uneducated”, and said they show why the former Formula 1 chief did nothing to improve diversity when he ran the sport.Ecclestone has already faced condemnation for his comments from Formula 1 Management, who pointed out he no longer has any official capacity in the championship.
“So sad and disappointing to read these comments,” Hamilton wrote on social media.
“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 was a target of racist abuse from spectators at a test session at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2008. “I remember this like it was yesterday,” he said of the incident today. “The damage things like this do to people is unacceptable.”
“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,” he continued.
“If someone who has run the sport for decades has such a lack of understanding of the deep-rooted 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.”
The six-times world champion last week announced he is creating a commission to promote more diverse participation in motorsport. Earlier this week he praised a similar initiative launched by Formula 1.
“Now the time has come for change,” he added. “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 that don’t have one, and to speak for those who are underrepresented to provide an opportunity to have a chance in our sport.”
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