Hamilton: 'Ignorant' Ecclestone never addressed racial abuse

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Lewis Hamilton has blasted Bernie Ecclestone's "ignorant and uneducated" comments on racism, insisting he now understands why the former F1 supremo never addressed "racial abuse" in the sport.

Ecclestone received a backlash from Formula 1 on Friday following a CNN Sport interview in which the 89-year-old said he had never felt concerned by racism in the sport, and neither had any teams.

Mr E. also said that he didn't believe that Hamilton's activism against racial injustice and fight for more diversity in F1 - which he praised - is "going to do anything bad or good for Formula 1".

Finally, Ecclestone was taken to the woodshed by critics for asserting that "in lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are".

Formula 1 responded with a strong worded statement in which it condemned the Briton's comments, and Hamilton predictably followed suit with a post on Instagram.

"So sad and disappointing to read these comments," Hamilton wrote.

"Bernie is out of the sport and a different generation but this is exactly what is wrong: Ignorant and uneducated comments which show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen.

"It makes complete sense to me now that nothing was said or done to make our sport more diverse or to address the racial abuse I received throughout my career," he added.

"If someone who has run the sport for decades has such a lack of understanding of the deep-rooted issues we as black people deal with every day, how can we expect all the people who work under him to understand? It starts at the top."


Hamilton alluded to an instance at Barcelona in 2008, when he was derided by black-faced spectators in the grandstands during a test session.

“I remember this like it was yesterday," he said as he recalled the incident. "The damage things like this do to people is unacceptable."

Formula 1 has vowed to engage in efforts to promote diversity in the sport through its #WeRaceAsOne initiative that was announced earlier this week, but Hamilton has set up a commission of his own to improve inclusion in motorsports.

"Now the time has come for change," he added. "I will not stop pushing to create an inclusive future for our sport with equal opportunity for all. To create a world that provides equal opportunity for minorities.

"I will continue to use my voice to represent those that don’t have one, and to speak for those who are underrepresented to provide an opportunity to have a chance in our sport."

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