Mercedes boss Toto Wolf says Lewis Hamilton, Formula One's first black champion, had taught him a lot about racial inequality. Picture: Michael Dodge/EPA
Mercedes boss Toto Wolf says Lewis Hamilton, Formula One's first black champion, had taught him a lot about racial inequality. Picture: Michael Dodge/EPA

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolf backs Lewis Hamilton on racial injustice

By Alan Baldwin Time of article published Jun 4, 2020

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LONDON - Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has given six-times Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton his full backing for the passionate condemnation of racial injustice after the death of George Floyd.

Hamilton spoke to millions of followers on social media of his rage and disbelief at the killing of the unarmed black man, who died in Minneapolis after a white U.S. police officer knelt on his neck. Wolff told reporters that his racing driver, Formula One's first black champion, had taught him a lot about racial inequality.

"He has asked me the question once: 'Have you ever had the active thought that you are white?'," said the Austrian.

"I said no actually I have never thought about it. And he said 'well, I need to think about it every day because I am being made aware that I am'.

"It is very difficult for us to comprehend how difficult it is and therefore I am happy and supportive that he has come out vocal. He is one of the ambassadors of this sport and I think it's good."


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This past week has been so dark. I have failed to keep hold of my emotions. I have felt so much anger, sadness and disbelief in what my eyes have seen. 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. So many people seem surprised, but to us unfortunately, it is not surprising. Those of us who are black, brown or in between, see it everyday and should not have to feel as though we were born guilty, don’t belong, or fear for our lives based on the colour of our skin. Will Smith said it best, racism is not getting worse, it’s being filmed. Only now that the world is so well equipped with cameras has this issue been able to come to light in such a big way. It is only when there are riots and screams for justice that the powers that be cave in and do something, but by then it is far too late and not enough has been done. It took hundreds of thousands of peoples complaints and buildings to burn before officials reacted and decided to arrest Derek Chauvin for murder, and that is sad. Unfortunately, America is not the only place where racism lives and we continue to fail as humans when we cannot stand up for what is right. Please do not sit in silence, no matter the colour of your skin. Black Lives Matter. #blackouttuesday ✊🏽

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Floyd's death has triggered a wave of outrage and violent protests in the United States. Four Minneapolis police officers are facing charges.

"I think we all of us have the power to make a change," said Wolff.

"Sometimes it needs events like the ones that happened a few days ago in the U.S. to trigger a massive wave of support for any minority.

"I think it's good that Lewis, as a sports superstar, is the one up front with it in a sport that is very much dominated by white males," said Wolff.


Reuters

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