F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says he isn’t at all comfortable racing in Saudi Arabia given its human rights violations related to the LGBTQ+ community. Hamilton, who will be competing in Jeddah over the weekend, said the current laws are nothing short of terrifying.
He also once again called on F1 to be more outspoken about human rights issues in those countries it chooses to visit for staging races.
This week saw several human rights groups writing letters of appeal to Formula One. Several of those accused the sport of helping Saudi Arabia to sportswash critical issues by competing in the state. Letters written by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and others, highlighted a range of pressing issues – with one such issue being how same-sex relations are illegal and punishable by imprisonment and even physical flogging.
Hamilton said while he doesn’t feel comfortable competing in Saudi Arabia, the choice has not been his to make. He said that decision has been made by F1 itself.
The F1 legend will continue his tightly fought battle for the title with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who with two meets remaining for the year, now leads the race with 8 points.
But for Hamilton, making a difference will be as important as winning the race. He said this week he would wear the same rainbow helmet that he wore in Qatar, and that this will be the helmet worn in Abu Dhabi for the 2021 final race of the season also.
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