Lewis Hamilton: “What’s really important is when young children are watching what we are doing and when they see us take the knee, they will sit and ask their parents or their teachers ‘why are they doing that? What are they taking the knee for?’ It sparks an uncomfortable conversation”
Lewis Hamilton says he plans to continue taking a knee ahead of F1 races this season as the “fight is not won”, as he backed the steps the sport is taking to help create a “better world”.
F1 is widening the focus of its pre-race ceremony on the grid ahead of this races this year as part of an expanded We Race As One programme.
However, drivers will continue to have the opportunity to show their support for issues in society in a moment of reflection, such as taking a knee.
Hamilton led the majority of the sport’s drivers in performing the gesture as part of a designated anti-racism gathering on the grid last year and, speaking on Thursday on the opening day in the Bahrain paddock of the 2021 season, the seven-time champion said it had “definitely felt empowering to not be silenced”.
He outlined why he felt it was important to continue taking a knee before races into 2021.
“We have an amazing platform here. I think it’s great to see the steps that Formula 1 are taking, the steps that Mercedes are taking, to make this sport more diverse,” said Hamilton.
“And I plan to continue to take the knee because what’s really important is when young children are watching what we are doing in this sport and when they see us take the knee, they will sit and ask their parents or their teachers ‘why are they doing that? What are they taking the knee for?’
“And it sparks an uncomfortable conversation.
“It means parents have to educate themselves and the kids are getting educated. So it’s a fight that’s not won, it’s a fight that will continue on for a long time, I’m sure. But we are in a good time where conversation is healthy.”
Hamilton said he felt as though F1 was “in the best place it’s been in, in terms of the steps it’s taking” to make a difference.
“I’m really proud of what F1 is doing in terms of acknowledging they have a great platform to work towards a better world,” said Hamilton.
More to follow…