Lewis Hamilton on how the death of George Floyd impacted him

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton says he “hadn’t cried for a long, long time”, but what happened to George Floyd “brought up these things I experienced when I was a kid that I didn’t get to really share with anybody”.

In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis back in 2020, Lewis Hamilton became increasingly vocal on issues of racial justice and racism.

In an interview with New York Times, Lewis explained how Floyd’s death impacted him.

“I really wasn’t expecting that day,” the Briton said.

“I hadn’t cried for a long, long time. Probably the last time I’d cried before then was when my auntie [Diane Hamilton] died of cancer. I was with her for the last two weeks. I remember trying to be really strong for her kids.”

“Then there was George Floyd. The whole thing was devastating. It brought up these things I experienced when I was a kid that I didn’t get to really share with anybody.

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“It was when he shouted out for his mum. That one breaks everybody because you can relate to that no matter what your skin colour is.

“Then for me, there were moments I was in fear, when I was on the receiving end of the experiences I had, when I was beaten down by this man and his son, for example, and wanting to also scream out for my mum or dad, and they weren’t around at the time.”

Lewis went on to explain how he feels it is his duty to talk about issues of diversity.

“If I don’t bring up these difficult conversations with people, they won’t get discussed or tackled, or energy from organizations won’t be put into creating more inclusivity.

“Spending the time having those conversations and what it means and how positive it could be for everybody, it takes time.

“It’s a constant job to have them,” Hamilton concluded.

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