Lewis Hamilton was recently a guest on the ‘Jay Shetty Podcast’ and he said that he did his ‘kneeling protest’ for ‘Black Lives Matter’ without the knowledge of the Mercedes F1 team. Hamilton said he was afraid of Mercedes’ reaction.
The 2020 F1 season was largely dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, but every grand prix also saw a protest against racism and for a more inclusive sport. The ‘We Race As One campaign’ was launched but seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton staged his own protest that was all about ‘Black Lives Matter’.
However, Hamilton hid his protest from Mercedes for a long time because he feared his team’s reaction. Before that, Mercedes had already agreed to give the Mercedes F1 car a black livery in the fight against racism.
“I decided I was going to kneel down but I didn’t dare tell the team,” Hamilton said on the ‘Jan Shetty Podcast’. “I thought they wouldn’t understand how important it was for me to do that on that day.”
“I remember hiding my Black Lives Matter shirt and then decided to wear it. The sport all had shirts with the slogan ‘We Race as One’ but I thought ‘I’m not going to wear that because that’s not what it’s about now’.”
“The team told me afterwards that they could have prepared better if I had just told them beforehand, but I was just afraid they would try to stop me.”
Hamilton then stated that those fears were completely unjustified and that he received a lot of support from Mercedes in the further course of the actions and protests.