Hamilton will continue to take the knee while many have stopped

Lewis Hamilton vowed this month to keep on taking the knee before each race of the Formula One season to encourage “uncomfortable conversations” about equality.

The seven-times world champion led the majority of drivers in taking a stand against racism on the grid before races last season, and his car will continue to have an all-black livery as part of Mercedes’s stand against discrimination.

Formula One will continue to dedicate time before each race in support of wider social and environmental issues rather than the sole focus it had on anti-racism last season.

“As I get older I’m understanding more,” Hamilton, 36, said. “I think we all went through an educational phase last year. We’re all learning more. There was a lot more discussion, I was watching more documentaries, I was reading a huge amount more trying to educate myself on the things that are happening around the world. And that hasn’t stopped through winter.

“It definitely felt empowering to not be silent, like some may want you to be. It definitely felt good on one side to take the knee on a personal level, to let the black community know that I hear you, I see you and I stand with you.

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“That was important for me. But there’s so many things that we need to address around the world and I can’t fix everything, but I want to help.

“I plan to continue to take the knee because I think what’s really important is when young children are watching what we’re doing here in this sport and when they see us take the knee, they will sit and ask their parents or their teachers, ‘Why are they doing that? What are they taking the knee for?’

“And it sparks an uncomfortable conversation. It means parents have to educate themselves and the kids are getting educated. It’s a fight that’s not won. It’s a fight that will continue for a long time. But I think we’re in a good time where conversation is healthy.”

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