The Grand Prix Drivers Association decided to take a knee before the season-opening of Austrian GP to support the anti-racism campaign to encourage the associations’ principle of equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Six drivers, including Kimi Raikkonen, refused to take a knee, claiming they’re fighting against ‘racism.’
Rumors had it that some recalcitrant drivers had decided not to obey, and we all witnessed it yesterday.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bulls Max Verstappen already took to Twitter to announce that they will not take a knee. According to them, their decision not to take a knee did not mean they are disrespecting the movement, but their fight is against racism and not just the Black Lives Matter movement
Max’s’ tweet read “I believe everyone has the right to express themselves at a time and in a way that suits them, I will not take a knee today but respect and support the personal choices every driver makes” it is quite unfortunate that Max does not know what support means.
Leclerc, on the other hand, believes taking the knee and all of that are just ‘formal gestures’ to him; hence, he will not be taking the knee, and he didn’t.
Lewis Hamilton, the only black six times formula one champion and a massive supporter of the end racism campaign, took a knee yesterday together with thirteen other drivers with ‘Black Lives Matter’ written boldly in front of their t-shirt and ‘End Racism’ on the back of it.
WeRaceAsOne slogan, what does it mean, and why did they come up with it?
It is evident that formula one is taking a bold stand against racism but not doing so well in promoting diversity among the drivers, but everyone had the right to make their own decisions, don’t they? Because of this, Liberty Media came up with the “WeRaceAsOne” slogan to unite the drivers in the fight against racism.
Clearly, those six drivers, including Leclerc and Max, showed no regard and respect to the slogan in the very least. Italian racing driver Antonio Giovinazzi, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Kvyat, and Kimi Raikkonen, who is known to be the most experienced driver on the grid at the moment and will overtake Barichello Rubens for the highest number of starts in history joined the others to remain on their feet. In contrast, the 14 others knelt in respect and support of the BLM movement and the “WeRaceAsOne” campaign.
In the statement released by the GDPA, it was written that each driver had their own decision to make, which shows that this sport discipline needs to step up their game when it comes to unity and mutual understanding.
These drivers claim they fight us against racism. Still, in reality, they’re just trying to shade the Black Lives Matter movement. They feel this campaign is getting way much attention, but what they don’t know is that Asians, Spanish people, and almost everyone who is not from the United States are discriminated against. They say Russians are not understanding, middle Eastern people like wars and all but none of these people get killed like how black people are murdered anyhow
So yes, we can campaign against racism, but this is not the time. This time is for the blacks, and what these drivers have done shows that they’re racist, and the slogan is just an empty gesture.
Chief executive officer Chase Carey and the FIA have donated to this cause, backing their words with action. Those six drivers who claimed they are fighting racism, what have they done to prove their stand?
The six drivers made a mockery of this slogan, and maybe they don’t understand the black lives matter movement or what it means to take a knee. Taking a knee means you’re not supporting an ongoing massacre. But not doing so means you’re like ‘oh well I don’t care as long as I’m not the one dying’ and those who are deeming the gesture as political are just lost.
Perhaps the world still needs some more public education about the BLM movement. The society also needs to know that this is a time for the black people to speak out and be recognized, don’t shade it with ‘AllLiveMatter’ or ‘EndRacism,’ we know all lives matter, but that’s not what we’re about at the moment, and people need to get that.