Formula One Drivers Take Knee, Wear ‘End Racism’ Shirts At Season Opener In Austria

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Nicholas Elias Contributor
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Formula One drivers took a knee and wore “End Racism” shirts at the start line before Sunday’s season-opening race of the Austrian Grand Prix.

“End Racism. One cause. One commitment.” said Formula One on Twitter. All 20 drivers that participated in the race wore t-shirts and 14 of the drivers took a knee, per NBC. (RELATED: NBA2K Releases Cover Art For ‘Mamba Forever Edition’ In Memory Of Kobe Bryant)

Lewis Hamilton, the only black driver in Formula One, wore a shirt featuring the words “Black Lives Matter,” according to NBC. Hamilton reportedly attended a Black Lives Matter protest in London and is also creating a commission to increase diversity in motorsports.

“I will not take the knee but this does not mean at all that I am less committed than others in the fight against racism,” said Leclerc on Twitter. Six of the 20 drivers did not take a knee during Sunday’s demonstration, with drivers such as Max Verstappen saying that “everyone has a right to express themselves at a time and way that suits them.”

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the governing body of Formula One, announced June 7 that they will be donating one million euros to “improving diversity in motor sport.” 

Valtteri Bottas won the race in Spielberg, Austria, with Charles Leclerc finishing close behind. Hamilton came in 4th place.