autoevolution

Lewis Hamilton Is Under Investigation for Wearing a T-Shirt at F1 Race

Lewis Hamilton won first prize at the Tuscan Grand Prix at the weekend, but his victory could potentially be marred by a formal investigation by the FIA into his latest “political” stance – if that’s what it was.
Lewis Hamilton wears Breonna Taylor T-shirt, could be in violation of FIA regulations because of it 3 photos
Lewis Hamilton wears Breonna Taylor T-shirt, could be in violation of FIA regulations because of itLewis Hamilton wears Breonna Taylor T-shirt, could be in violation of FIA regulations because of it
Hamilton is the only black driver in the sports, an issue he often brings up to highlight a lack of diversity in the F1. Events in recent months in the U.S. and abroad have flared his activism and he’s now open about his support for the BLM movement and other assorted causes. Given his high profile and frequent public appearances, he is using every second of exposure to further draw attention to issues close to his heart.

The same happened on Sunday, at the Tuscan Grand Prix. Both before the race and after, on the podium, Hamilton took a knee and made sure to show off his brand new T-shirt. “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor,” the message on the front read, while the back had a photo of the late emergency medical technician and the text “Say her name.”

Breonna Taylor was killed during a police raid with a “no-knock” search warrant, with BLM activists asking for the officers involved to be prosecuted. Taylor had no priors and was in her bed when the raid took place.

According to Sky Sports, Hamilton’s decision to wear the T-shirt may have come in violation of the FIA’s regulations on making political statements or gestures during races. The FIA is looking into the “incident” and may launch a formal investigation, should it decide a violation took place. For the time being, though, formal procedures have not yet been launched.

Speaking to the media after the race, the six-time F1 champion said wearing the T-shirt had long been his plan. “It took me a long time to get that shirt and I've been wanting to wear that and bring awareness,” Hamilton said.

He also posted photos from the event, with a message on how “we won’t stay silent” anymore. As these things go, both his decision to wear the T-shirt and his message have sparked divided – and equally passionate – reactions. While many praise him for being a modern “hero” for his activism, just as many criticize him for bringing “politics” into the sports.

*Later update: The FIA has decided against a formal investigation, but it will issue further guidance on what is acceptable from drivers in pre- and post-race events, including in terms of clothing items.



 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories