The FIA are investigating if Lewis Hamilton broke any rules by wearing a T-shirt with a message about the shooting of Breonna Taylor both before and after his win at the Tuscan GP.
Taylor, a Black 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was killed on March 13 in Louisville, Kentucky, after police officers attempted to serve a no-knock search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend, who fired on police after he said they didn’t identify themselves, was arrested, but the charges were dropped. No one has been charged in Taylor’s death during the mishap.
The Kentucky Attorney General is still investigating the killing, which has led to riots across America, so Hamilton’s display is seen by several senior Formula 1 officials as being potentially ‘political’. FIA forbids political statements of any kind.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) September 13, 2020
The FIA maintains a non-political stance, but it’s not clear what rules the six-time world champion may have violated. Teams are prohibited to use any political or religious advertising, but drivers are not specifically mentioned. Hamilton, Formula 1’s only Black driver, has regularly worn a Black Lives Matter shirt during official pre-race anti-racism demonstrations in the 2020 F1 season.
The front of Hamilton’s shirt featured the words ‘Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor’, while the back contained her picture below the words ‘Say her name’.
“It took me a long time to get that shirt and I’ve been wanting to wear that and bring awareness to the fact that there’s people that have been killed on the street and there’s someone that got killed in her own house, and they’re in the wrong house, and those guys are still walking free.”
His Mercedes-AMG Petronas team has been at the forefront by running an all-black paint scheme as “a stand against racism and discrimination in all forms and a public pledge to further improve the diversity of our team and our sport.”
Six months have passed since Louisville police killed #BreonnaTaylor in her bed, which is longer than most officers spend in police academy. Still, no one has been held accountable for her death. #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor #EndQualifiedImmunity
— Libertarian Party (@LPNational) September 13, 2020
Hamilton performed the Black Power salute on the podium after winning the Styrian GP in July and is aiming to establish a diversity commission to understand how to widen opportunities for all in motorsport.
Hamilton now heads to Sochi in a fortnight looking to near Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record of 92 race wins.
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