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Hamilton launches diversity commission

NEWS STORY
21/06/2020

Lewis Hamilton is to launch a commission aimed at encouraging more diversity in F1.

"I have been working with the Royal Academy of Engineering to create The Hamilton Commission, a research partnership dedicated to exploring how motorsport can be used as a vehicle to engage more young people from black backgrounds with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and, ultimately, employ them on our teams or in other engineering sectors," he writes in the Sunday Times.

The Briton, who is targeting his seventh F1 title this year, equalling the record set by Michael Schumacher, has spoken out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks, triggering support from a number of fellow drivers and teams.

Indeed, even F1 came out in support issuing a statement condemning racism, a move somewhat compromised by a number of tweets from the wife of a very senior F1 official, which subsequently led to her deleting her entire Twitter account, allegedly following a complaint from the world champion.

"It will explore areas including lack of role models and career services at schools, opportunities to engage more black youth with STEM extracurriculars, barriers that prevent people from more diverse backgrounds joining the racing industry, and problematic hiring practices that result in fewer black graduates entering engineering professions.

"This will not be arm's length research. We want to hear from the young people and graduates who deal with these challenges every day and we are in the process of bringing on additional partners who work on the ground in black communities to bring first-hand perspective.

"In addition, we want to bring in leaders from policy and business who are committed to leading on the activation of research recommendations. The time for platitudes and token gestures is over.

"I hope that The Hamilton Commission enables real, tangible and measurable change. When I look back in 20 years, I want to see the sport that gave a shy, working-class black kid from Stevenage so much opportunity, become as diverse as the complex and multicultural world we live in.

"I've been fighting the stigma of racism throughout my racing career, he continues "from kids throwing things at me while karting, to being taunted by fans in black face at a 2007 grand prix, one of my first Formula 1 races.

"I'm used to being one of very few people of colour on my teams and, more than that, I'm used to the idea that no one will speak up for me when I face racism, because no one personally feels or understands my experience. Most of the time, they don't even see it and if they do, they let their fear of saying the wrong thing get in the way.

"The unchanged make-up of the F1 community throughout my career makes it feel like only a certain type of person is truly welcome in this sport, one who looks a certain way, comes from a certain background, fits a particular mould and plays by certain unwritten rules.

"Even now, the media ask me different questions than they do my competitors and make accusations directly and indirectly, you're not British enough, not humble enough, not loved enough by the public."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Fruityfrog, 01/07/2020 15:02

"I think that I understand Lewis point of view. However, I must admit that I am getting fed up with all this "black lives matter" stuff. Surely all lives matter? I feel that what is going on at the moment, with the media doing a fine job of whipping everyone into a frenzy, will only succeed in driving our various mixed races appart.
What a bloody shame! "

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2. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 22/06/2020 15:28

"F1 should concentrate on hiring the best, regardless of who they are or where they came from. That is the only way everyone involved can say they deserve to be where they are."

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3. Posted by Roli, 21/06/2020 21:57

"I think Lewis Hamilton just concentrate on driving. No one cares what he thinks. Its a shit world, people kill people aimlessly. We should think more about making the world a safer place. Its not about racism, its about people's behaviour
"

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4. Posted by WatchingF1onRTL, 21/06/2020 17:43

"Good for you, Lewis :-). You are a massively successful F1 driver, and more principled than many F1 drivers, past and present!

When you arrived in 2007, lots of F1 fans wanted you to fail, as you were a threat to them. When you succeeded, you were dismissed as "only winning because he is black" ... alleging favourable treatment. I remember hearing about the monkey chants during testing at Catalunya in '07. In 2007, Lewis BEAT Alonso in equal equipment, in his first season ..... that was stunning. At the end of the 2007 season, there was an ITV-F1 poll ... "Driver of the Season", and Lewis finished ... FOURTH! If Lewis had been white and English ..... do you honestly think he would have finished fourth?! No chance.

Since then, Lewis has done brilliantly, winning SIX F1 titles, and beating strong team mates. Nico Rosberg was a stronger driver than most people give him credit for. Bottas is also a very fast driver. No matter what he achieves, the racists and their sympathisers will find excuses to dismiss him. Some of them say, "Oh, he doesn't pay tax in the UK" .... they never complained about the other British champs living overseas ... I wonder why? ;-)"

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