Hamilton reveals he didn’t tell Mercedes he was going to ‘take the knee’

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton reveals he didn’t feel like he could tell Mercedes that he was going to ‘take the knee’, because he “had this fear that they would try and stop me”.

Back in 2020, in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, Lewis Hamilton became very outspoken about issues or racism and racial justice.

He was the driver who led the way when it came to ‘taking the knee’ ahead of races, and he sported the ‘Black Lives Matter’ slogan on his T-shirts and helmets.

However, Lewis reveals he felt he couldn’t tell his team that he was planning on ‘taking the knee’, the first time he decided to do it.

“There’s a right way to do it, but the first day I was going to take the knee, I didn’t feel like I could tell my team,” the Briton said.

“Because I felt that they wouldn’t understand how important it is for me to do this on this day. I remember I had my Black Lives Matter shirt hidden and I just wore it out there and I went ahead with it.

“The sport had made all these t-shirts with the ‘We Race As One’ slogan and they gave these t-shirts to everybody, and I was like ‘I’m not wearing that, that’s not what this is about’, and so this is what I’m doing.

“Afterwards my team are like ‘Well if you just told us we could have prepared better’, but I had this fear that they would try and stop me. But that was just a fear, they have been massively supportive through the whole thing.

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“My hope was that kids would be watching me and saying ‘Why is he taking the knee? What does that shirt mean? What is going on Dad, Mum?’

“And then the parents would have been in an awkward position having to explain it.”

Lewis then explained his thought process when he decided to use his platform to try and make a change.

“I remember kind of being on my knees thinking ‘What is happening in the world? I’ve got to be outspoken, I’ve got to take that chance because if I don’t do it, then no one’s going to do it’.

“If I don’t take the knee, if I don’t let people like me know that I care, I hear you and I’m with you…

“I’m going to do something about it and I’m going to risk it all, I don’t care if my partners want to drop me because they want to be associated with this narrative.

“I literally let go of all that fear and that’s why I came so forward with it,” Hamilton concluded.

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