Lewis Hamilton vows to keep fighting against racial injustice
Lewis Hamilton vowed to keep fighting against racial injustice as he was named the most influential black person in Britain.
The newly crowned seven-time Formula One world champion made the Powerlist 2021 alongside grime artist Stormzy and footballer Marcus Rashford.
Accepting the honour during a virtual ceremony, Hamilton said he was “humbled”.
He said: “Like many of you, I have experienced racism my whole life, from being called names when I was a kid to having a group of people turn up at the race in black faces, saying they were my family.”
That was a reference to a 2008 incident in Spain. “It’s sadly been a part of life,” Hamilton said.
He also reflected on the worldwide protests against racism that erupted following the death of George Floyd in May.
Hamilton said: “Racism is something I’ve always spoken out about but there have been times when I felt I was pushing up against a system that was so big that it would never change. And then 2020, it happened.
“This year has been a really difficult one in so many ways and the constant stories of racial injustice has been traumatising for many of us.
“But as a community we have responded in a way that has been incredibly inspiring. In my life I have never seen so many people stand up and take a stand against injustice.
“And it is the power of our community, holding mass protests and making their voices heard that sparked this global movement.
“To be nominated as your number one most influential person in a year like this is not something I take lightly.”
Hamilton added: “I promise you I will keep fighting alongside you until our voices are heard and until we live in a world that treats everyone equally, no matter their background or the colour of their skin.”
Also making the list was Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director for Public Health England, who was recognised for leading the capital’s coronavirus response.