Talks needed with drivers who won't kneel says Hamilton

AUGUST 5, 2020

Talks needed with drivers who won't kneel says Hamilton

Drivers, British GP 2020
© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

"More conversations" should take place to convince drivers like Kevin Magnussen to kneel down before races, according to Lewis Hamilton.

Having kneeled for anti-racism with 14 other drivers in Austria and Hungary, Haas driver Magnussen elected to stand up with six of his peers at Silverstone.

"I do not fully support what the organisation Black Lives Matter stands for," the Dane told Algemeen Dagblad newspaper.

Hamilton's boss Toto Wolff said the six-time world champion is justified in crusading against racism.

"We as middle-aged white men can never put ourselves in a situation of someone who has been racially abused," the Mercedes chief told the Guardian.

"I think he realised that a peaceful, silent protest hasn't changed anything in the last 60 years. So maybe it's time to utilise your voice in a more polarising and confrontational way with the hope that he can trigger change."

Wolff's wife Susie, who runs a Formula E team, agrees.

"As much as we think the sport might not be racist, if Lewis is telling us it is, it's from his own personal experience and that counts for so much," she told CNN.

So when asked if drivers like Magnussen should be forced to kneel rather than stand, Hamilton answered: "I'm not going to tell you my opinion on whether everyone needs to or not.

"But if you look at all the other sports - look at basketball, look at football, Spanish teams, Italian teams, teams all over the world - no matter what nationality or mixture, they are all doing it united," he said.

"I don't know why Magnussen hasn't done it, I've not spoken to him. Maybe there needs to be more conversations."

(GMM)

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