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Hamilton to face FIA investigation?

NEWS STORY
14/09/2020

Lewis Hamilton could face investigation by the FIA after the world champion wore a slogan emblazoned T-Shirt during the podium ceremony.

Before the race, the world champion was wearing a black T-Shirt which read "Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor" on the front and "say her name" on the back, along with a picture of Ms Taylor.

Asked at the post race press conference if the T-Shirt marked a change in direction from the 'Black Lives Matter' T-Shirt he has been wearing, the Briton replied: "Not much of a change, it's still fighting the same thing. It's just... it took me a long time to get that shirt and I've been wanting to wear that and bring awareness to the fact that there's people that have been killed on the street and there's someone that got killed in her own house, and they're in the wrong house, and those guys are still walking free and we can't rest, we can't... we have to continue to raise awareness with it and Naomi has been doing amazing, so huge congratulations to here, and I think she's an incredible inspiration with what she's done with her platform. I think we just have to continue to push on the issue."

However, the FIA has strict rules on political statements being made at it event, having censured organizers at the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix, and the world champion could face investigation, a spokesman confirming that the matter is "under active consideration".

Asked whether the message on the T-Shirt is considered political, the spokesman added: "That's the consideration we are looking into."

"It is entirely his decision," said team boss, Toto Wolff in reaction to the T-Shirt. "Whatever he does, we will support.

"The team is fighting against any kind of racism and discrimination," he added, "and it is Lewis's personal fight for Black Lives Matter and with all the support we can give him. It's his call."

The FIA statutes require that competitors "refrain from manifesting discrimination on account of race, skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin, language, religion, philosophical or political opinion, family situation or disability in the course of its activities", while the sporting code forbids competitors from "affixing to their automobiles advertising that is political or religious in nature or that is prejudicial to the interests of the FIA".

At the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix in 2006, the race winner's trophy was presented by Mehmet Ali Talat, who was introduced via the on-screen captions as the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a state which is recognised only by Turkey.

Officials withheld the identity of the person presenting the trophy until the last minutes, which meant the FIA had no time to act.

Fearing the move would breach the governing body's neutrality the FIA investigated the incident, which at one point was feared would lead to the cancellation of future races FIA-sanctioned in the country. However, organisers were fined $5m, which was subsequently reduced to $2.5m.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Editor, 16/09/2020 8:12 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 16/09/2020 10:25)

"In this the strangest of seasons, it still seems odd that Lewis Hamilton's 'activism' generates more debate than his driving.

To physically close this post to debate would mean the erasing of the various comments, and no doubt someone would read something into that.

However, no further posts will be allowed. If someone does post a comment it will be deleted and we will consider whether to ban them from further comments. Unlike the FIA we will act.

As that last line is open to misinterpretation, may I just say that Jean Todt - who never usually shies away from the limelight - has remained unusually quiet on the matter, instead allowing an 'anonymous' FIA spokesperson to issue soundbites.

In the current atmosphere, it would appear that you are condemned if you do or if you don't, with the various 'mobs' keen to jump all over you whatever side of the debate they perceive you as being on.

I have worked too bloody hard, invested too much sweat, money and heartache into this site to risk it being compromised by issues it has absolutely nothing to do with."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by @R1Racing71, 15/09/2020 9:30

"Correction to previous comment. Should read - “Never welcomed”"

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3. Posted by @R1Racing71, 15/09/2020 6:46

"I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in the Mercedes motorhome on Sunday, there is no way that tee shirt was sanctioned.
Criticism of the police force, irrespective of nationality is ever welcomed, even if it is perceived to be justified."

Rating: Positive (8)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by BruceBoy, 15/09/2020 6:04 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 16/09/2020 10:25)

""BruceBoy.
His name and reputation wont feed, educate and progress
all the under privileged people he keeps talking about."

Well we can all sit here without any knowledge of what potentially he does in the background with his money, his spare time etc. He may do nothing but equally he may be doing something as well.

Whilst yes wearing a t-shirt won't feed anyone, there is no denying that when someone who is well known gets involved in a movement or highlights an issue it can have an effect on people, or bring an issue to the fore.

Im struggling to see why its such an issue tbh... but thats just because its not an issue for me in the slightest. It was 1 minute of the day, where the dude wore a t-shirt, it didn't spoil anything, it didn't harm anyone, and then it was gone...

Respect your opinion though and good to have healthy debate."

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5. Posted by Italian Job, 15/09/2020 6:04 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 16/09/2020 10:25)

"What he does in his own time is his choice, but would LH be making such statements "in the workplace" if he were still at McLaren and Ron Dennis was still in charge?
The FIA spoke up when Turkey played fast 'n' loose over Cyprus - they will have my support if they continue to clamp down on people using the occasion of a GP (anywhere) for statements like this."

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6. Posted by equator180, 15/09/2020 3:34

"The podium is no place to voice or illustrate your personal, political, religious, sexual or any other message you may want to voice, I and many millions more really don't give a d@m what you think beyond the sport. If this is the norm the telecasters of the event can watch the lights go out before the podium is taken and then the advertisers go where? So ironic how wealth blinds reality only to exhibit ones level of intelligence."

Rating: Positive (9)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by Steve W, 14/09/2020 22:38

"Let's wait and see if Hamilton does something really useful with his multi-million dollar salary other than buy T-Shirts..."

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8. Posted by jcr, 14/09/2020 22:25

"BruceBoy.
His name and reputation wont feed, educate and progress
all the under privileged people he keeps talking about."

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9. Posted by Barslug, 14/09/2020 22:24

"Regardless of what side of the political, social or wealth isle you stand on, I hope we can all agree that we are watching F1 to be entertained, not preached to. Even things I agree with lose their message when the platform is wrong. Please keep racing about racing! "

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10. Posted by BruceBoy, 14/09/2020 20:56 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 16/09/2020 10:25)

""jcr"

His image & reputation is his money."

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11. Posted by jcr, 14/09/2020 19:48

"BruceBoy.
What Money ??"

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12. Posted by BruceBoy, 14/09/2020 19:06

"They dud has got a spine......not many that can be said for."

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13. Posted by BruceBoy, 14/09/2020 19:05

"Good lad - proud of him for doing that.

Good to see a celebrity putting their money where their mouth is, and actually standing up for what he believes in and for something that has effected him in his life as well.

Most celebrities talk about it but shy away when its inconvenient to their public persona.

There is nothing to investigate here in the slightest other than all the white people getting there knickers in a twist about something that fundamentally is WRONG and needs highlighting to be bought to justice."

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14. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 14/09/2020 19:02

"Good."

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15. Posted by Editor, 14/09/2020 18:48

"@ All

It will be interesting to see if he does anything similar in Russia."

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