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Thursday, November 30, 2023

F1 star Lewis Hamilton condemns Florida’s anti-LBGTQ crackdown

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Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton on Thursday slammed anti-LGBTQ measures enacted by Florida state legislators and slammed the state’s controversial “don’t say you’re gay” law in reference to the harassment seen in Saudi Arabia. Granted.

“It’s not good at all,” said Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s highly anticipated F1 race in suburban Miami. “I stand here with the people of the community. I hope they stand firm and back down. I’ll put a rainbow on my helmet. It’s no different than when we were in Saudi Arabia.”

As F1’s only black driver, Hamilton regularly uses his platform to speak out about issues of social justice and race, human rights, and the safety of the LBGTQ community. The 38-year-old Briton races in countries with questionable human rights records, including Saudi Arabia, or raises her voice when issues arise that she believes could be of support.

The comments come amid a surge in interest in the racing series among Americans, just three days ahead of F1’s unprecedented three races in the United States this season. Other stops are in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas.

Hamilton often races with a rainbow flag on his helmet, especially when stopping at venues located in countries where F1 has restrictive laws. There was no track action on Thursday and Hamilton wore a blue Tommy Hilfiger two-piece set with red and white accents to celebrate his arrival in the States.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Parents’ Education Bill of Rights in late March. As expanded, the bill prohibits public school teachers from teaching students about sexual orientation or gender identity. Hamilton protested, but the veteran Mercedes driver would not talk about whether F1 should avoid racing in Florida because of social policy.

“It’s not for me to decide,” Hamilton said. “I have heard and read about some of the decisions taken by the government here, but I do not agree with them and do not support them. I really do continue to stand with the LGBTQ community and I’m wearing a rainbow flag on my helmet this weekend. I want to continue to support the community here. I am against it.

He said, “It’s the people in government, not the people of Miami, who are making these decisions and that’s the problem.” “Hopefully, whatever I can do — this game will be here with or without me — but the least I can do is stand and be here and wear it on my helmet. It fits the theme.” ”

Before the first Miami Grand Prix last year, Hamilton jumped into the Roe v. Wade debate and hosted former first lady Michelle Obama for practice and qualifying in his pits.

“I love living in America, but I cannot ignore what is happening and what parts of the government are trying to do to the women who live here.” Nationwide right to legal abortion. “Everyone should have the right to choose what to do with their body. We can’t take that choice away.

Earlier in the year, the Formula One governing body said that drivers would be banned from speaking on social justice issues at events. The drivers protested and the FIA clarified its position to allow the drivers to answer questions. Hamilton was questioned on Thursday about the Florida law, but had previously said he would not follow the FIA’s guidelines.

Hamilton became the first black race winner in F1 in 2008. Now in the final year of his contract with Mercedes, Hamilton is the winningest driver in series history, tying Michael Schumacher with a record seven titles.

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