Former F1 chief Ecclestone rejects racism claims, drags SA into argument
London - Formula One's former boss Bernie Ecclestone said on Thursday that he is not a racist after dismissing claims to that effect from driver Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes driver Hamilton, a six-time world champion, criticised Ecclestone after the 89-year-old said in an interview with CNN that "in lots of cases, black people are more racist than white people are."
Hamilton labelled the comments "ignorant and uneducated," while expressing his disappointment at the lack of support for the Black Lives Matter anti-racism movement at Formula One races.
Ecclestone believes it is the British driver who should be doing more in his position to highlight the issue.
"Lewis could start by making people aware that those who are other than white are employed by teams and are given the same opportunities," Ecclestone told British newspaper the Daily Mail.
"Lewis, you state that I am uneducated and ignorant. You are lucky because if I had been properly educated perhaps Formula One would not be as it was for you to benefit as you have.
"Don't think about what your skin colour is; think about what colour your mind is."
Ecclestone cited a race that was cancelled in South Africa as evidence that he has stood up against racism.
"I pulled F1 out of South Africa after a white South African killed a black journalist because of his comments," he explained.
"A black person was walking in the road and the white driver opened the car window and, with a cane, hit the black person.
"Life isn't fair. We need to educate a younger generation."