Rebellious Lewis Hamilton Scoffs at F1’s “We Race as One” T-Shirts: “I’m Not Wearing That”

Published 01/24/2023, 7:30 PM EST

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An advocate of racial inclusivity and equality, Lewis Hamilton has always been outspoken on the issue. The Briton doubled down on the narrative in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Being the only black driver in F1, he felt he had to do more to make his presence count. As the sport once gave out “We Race As One” t-shirts to all the drivers to express their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Hamilton had his own plans.

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Growing up in an environment where he frequently faced racist abuse, the issue has always disturbed Lewis. Whatever platform he is on, he knows how to use it to further his allegiance to the movement. Formula 1, being a global sport, is a great platform for him to raise his voice against inequality and that is exactly what he did when the occasion called for it.

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Recently, speaking with Jay Shetty on his podcast ‘On Purpose’, Lewis said, The first day, I was going to take the knee. I remember I didn’t feel like I could tell my team. Because I felt that they wouldn’t understand how important it is for me to do this, this day. So I remember I had my Black Lives Matter shirt hidden, and I just wore it out there.”

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“No one knew. The sport had made all these t-shirts with the “we race as one” slogan, and they gave these t-shirts to everybody. I was like, I’m not wearing that. That’s not what this is about. This is what I’m doing. And afterwards my team were like, well, if you just told us, we could have prepared better but I had this fear that they would try and stop me, perhaps. But that was just a fear.”

While being a part of the movement is necessary, Hamilton believes his role is much more than that.

Lewis Hamilton reveals how he deals with companies he associates himself with

Over his 16 years in F1, Hamilton has created quite a brand for himself. So much so that every big company wants to have him on board. That is where he assumes his responsibility to promote inclusivity and equality.

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Speaking further on the podcast, he told, “My job is to be empowering, improving representation. I’m really, really passionate about black equity as well. So, that’s why I got involved with Denver Broncos. Usually, when I’m in conversation with sponsors or companies, I’m like, ‘hey, so how diverse is your team, what are you doing about diversity, creating inclusion, how are you a better workspace for people’. That’s what I want to be a part of.”

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“The success can come later and that would be along the way, but if you’re not asking those questions, or not tackling those issues, then we’re not blind. So pretty much every partner that we have had within our team, I’ve asked these really difficult questions. And they’re like, ‘oh you know what, we can do more’. I’m like, ‘well, let’s do it’.”

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Watch This Story: Lewis Hamilton dismisses beef with Max Verstappen

Hamilton has by all means made it big in life, given where he started from. Despite that, he hasn’t forgotten his duty toward the community. That in itself is a testament to the kind of human he is, and why people should take inspiration from him.

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Written by:

Nischay Rathore

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Nischay Rathore is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. Being a law graduate, he has worked at the Supreme Court of India as well as the High Court of Delhi. However, due to his adherent love for sports, he has now set out to start his journey into the world of Sports Journalism.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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