Formula 1 condemns Hamilton’s racist remarks

Formula 1 on Tuesday denounced the racist term used by Brazil’s three-time champion Nelson Beckett to refer to British Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton as “unacceptable”.

The 69-year-old Brazilian, who won the world champion in 1981, 1983 and 1987, used the word “niginho”, which means “little Negro” in Portuguese, speaking of Hamilton during an interview with a podcast in Brazil.

“Discriminatory or racist speech is unacceptable in any way and has no place in society,” Formula 1 said in a statement.

“Lewis is a great representative of our sport and deserves respect. His relentless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson for many and one that we are committed to in F1.”

Beckett was discussing the crash between Hamilton and Dutch Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on the first lap of last year’s British Grand Prix when he used the term knowing that the Brazilian’s daughter Kelly is last year’s world champion’s girlfriend.

Hamilton, who made history as the first (and still remaining) black driver in the Formula One World Championship, is very active in bringing more diversity to the sport.

The Mercedes team “denounced in the strongest possible terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind.”

“Lewis has led our sport’s fight against racism and is a true champion of diversity on and off the track.”

He concluded: “Together we share the vision of a diverse and inclusive sport, and this incident highlights the critical importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future.”

Hamilton is gearing up for this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, hoping to get crowd support for his first win of the season.

Source: AFP

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