Lewis Hamilton has issued a rallying cry in support of the Black Lives Matter protests that were sparked into life following the brutal murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police. Following Floyd’s death, anti-racism protests initially erupted in Minneapolis and quickly spread across the USA. Many of the protests were peaceful but there have also been violent clashes between civilians and state police. The protests subsequently spread across the world.
The city of Bristol, England is resident of a statue honoring the 17th Century slave trader, Edward Coulston. Primal rage ensued as protestors, majority white, toppled the statue, dragged it through the streets, and threw it into a river near-by. A fitting end to a celebratory monument that was made off the blood, sweat, tears, and deaths of slaves.
Lewis Hamilton has effectively backed protestors for toppling the Coulston statue but stopped short of any similar removals in the future. Hamilton urged governments worldwide to “implement the peaceful removal of these racist symbols”.
Hamilton revealed through his Instagram account that he was “completely overcome with rage” at George Floyd’s death and the subsequent brutal crackdown of Minnesota protestors by Minneapolis Police. Of the Coulston statue Hamilton further elaborated:
“If those people hadn’t taken down that statue, honoring a racist slave trader, (Edward Coulston) it would never have been removed,”
“There’s talks of it going into a museum. That man’s statue should stay in the river just like the 20,000 African souls who died on the journey here and thrown into the sea, with no burial or memorial. He stole them from their families, country and he must not be celebrated!”
Hamilton has also revealed how he was racially bullied as he made his way from junior karting up to Formula One. The experience, he said, made him more determined to beat those who would try to beat him down with words.