Formula 1 drivers denounce Saudi Arabia’s ‘terrifying’ gay and women laws hours before race / LGBTQ Nation
DJEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 02: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speak at drivers’ press conference during previews ahead of the Saudi Arabian F1 Grand Prix at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on December 02, 2021 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.Photo: Photo by Hassan Ammar – Pool / Getty Images
Shortly before this weekend’s Grand Prix race in Saudi Arabia, Formula 1 drivers are speaking out against the country’s “terrifying” laws that persecute LGBTQ people and women.
Star runner and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who also wore a rainbow striped helmet during a race in Qatar two weeks ago to protest the country’s laws that criminalize gay sex, has gone until he admitted he didn’t want to be there.
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“Do I feel comfortable here?” I wouldn’t say yes, âHamilton told reporters at a pre-game press conference. âBut it’s not my choice to be here. Sport has made the choice to be here. And whether it’s good or bad, while we’re here I think it’s important that we try to raise awareness.
âFor the last race, for example, you saw this helmet that I was wearing. I’ll wear it here again, and to the next race [in Abu Dhabi]. Because it is a question which is a law. If anyone wants to take the time to read what the laws are for the LGBTQIA + community, that’s pretty terrifying. So there are changes to be made. “
Hamilton, who currently sits second this season, also highlighted the plight of women inside the country.
âThere are changes that need to be made,â Hamilton said. âFor example, women’s rights. They were only allowed to drive in 2018. But why are some women still in prison for driving many years ago? There are still a lot of changes to be made and I think our sport needs to do more. “
Other engines are also taking a stand for human rights and are starting to speak out on issues of social justice. Hamilton says it is âdutyâ to point out injustices that are overlooked by sporting authority.
Pilot Mick Schumacher wore a rainbow stripe bracelet while Sebastian Vettel wore shoes adorned with a rainbow stripe. Vettel told reporters he had just arrived after attending a karting event for Saudi women.