Lewis Hamilton calls for statues of racists to be removed
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London - Six-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has called on governments to remove statues of "racists" who made money selling slaves. This comes after a British monument was torn down on Sunday.
"Our country honoured a man who sold African slaves!" Hamilton posted on social media on Monday. "All statues of racist men who made money from selling a human being should be torn down! Which one is next?"
Widespread anti-racism protests in the UK and across the world have taken place under the banner 'Black Lives Matter' since the death of American George Floyd in police custody in late May.
In Bristol, a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston was dumped into the River Avon.
Hamilton has long been active in protesting against racism and recently sparked his fellow drivers and F1 teams into action after criticizing the "white dominated sport" for not speaking out.
The Mercedes driver Hamilton said it should not be needed that people in the streets tear down statues. "I challenge government officials worldwide to make these changes and implement the peaceful removal of these racist symbols," he said.
Last week Hamilton said he felt "completely overcome with rage" as he urged people to speak out against racism and stand up for justice. The Briton had slammed his sport on Sunday for its silence over the killing of Floyd.
"This past week has been so dark, I have failed to keep hold of my emotions," said Formula One's first black champion in his latest social media post to millions of followers.
Lewis Hamilton. File picture: Chuck Burton / AP Photo.
"I have felt so much anger, sadness and disbelief in what my eyes have seen," added the Mercedes driver.
"I am completely overcome with rage at the sight of such blatant disregard for the lives of our people. The injustice that we are seeing our brothers and sisters face all over the world time and time again is disgusting, and MUST stop."
Hamilton, who has homes in the United States, drew support from several other F1 drivers and his team after his comments last Sunday.
Formula One also broke its silence with a statement on Twitter: "We stand with you, and all people in the fight against racism. It is an evil that no sport or society is truly immune from," it said.
"And it is only together we can oppose it and eradicate it. Together we are stronger."
dpa & Reuters
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