Lewis Hamilton reacts to Derek Chauvin conviction in George Floyd case: ‘This is monumental’

The seven-time world champion is the only driver to issue a statement following the decision; F1 itself also stood silent

By Yuri Coghe
@yuricoghe
Lewis Hamilton is the only black driver in Formula 1 history (Photo: Frame from SkySports broadcast)

Lewis Hamilton continued to speak out against anti-Black racism on Tuesday as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on three charges in the death of George Floyd in May 2020.

Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest, has been convicted of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

Hamilton, the most successful Formula 1 driver ever and the only Black driver in the 71 years of the series history, used social media to react to the trial result.

“The emotions I feel right now are hard to describe,” said the seven-time world champion. “This is the first time that a white officer has been convicted for killing a black man in Minnesota. This is monumental, George’s death is not in vain.”

While he celebrated the outcome as a “sombre victory for George and his family” and “an opportunity for the justice system to hold Derek Chauvin accountable for his actions,” Hamilton also pointed to the ruling as “just one step on the path towards a more equal society.”

“Since George’s death, so many other Black people have died at the hands of the police and we must ensure the momentum of today continues. The fight isn’t over, and there is more to be done,” he said.

Lone voice

While Hamilton’s voice carries weight, it stands as a lone one in Formula 1. The Mercedes driver is the only one to release a statement thus far. F1 itself also failed to do so despite its attempts to move to push for a more socially responsible and diverse environment within the series.

Efforts such as the #WeRaceAsOne campaign started after the commotion and revolt caused by Floyd’s murder last year. The series averaged 87.4 million viewers worldwide per race in 2020 according to official numbers. They boast 12.8m followers on Instagram and 5.5m on Twitter.

F1total.ca will update the story if any of the other 19 drivers, 10 teams or Formula 1 issue any comment on the matter.

Hamilton leads the 2021 F1 drivers’ championship after two races, with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen one point behind the Briton.

Read the full statement by Lewis Hamilton below:

“JUSTICE for George! The emotions I feel right now are hard to describe. Derek Chauvin has been found guilty. This is the first time that a white officer has been convicted for killing a black man in Minnesota. This is monumental, George’s death is not in vain. The result of the Derek Chauvin trial today was is the right one. Convicting him of all three charges marks a new dawn in the fight for racial justice. This trial was an opportunity for the justice system to hold Derek Chauvin accountable for his actions when he took the life of George Floyd. We can now breathe a collective sigh of relief that the right decision has been met, and that justice has been served. Today’s outcome is a sombre victory for George and his family, but it shows that our efforts to promote justice are not in vain. Black voices have been heard and action is happening. When we stand together, we can make a difference. But this is just one step on the path towards a more equal society. Since George’s death, so many other Black people have died at the hands of the police and we must ensure the momentum of today continues. The fight isn’t over, and there is more to be done. My thoughts and prayers are with George’s family. I hope they will feel a sense of peace from this result. #BlackLivesMatter.”

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