Ricciardo taking Hamilton's lead after eyes opened to world events
Daniel Ricciardo has conceded he is no longer prepared to stay silent after having his eyes opened to some of the disturbing global events of the past few weeks.
Lewis Hamilton effectively awoke Formula 1 and motorsport from its silence in the wake of the death of George Floyd by emotively speaking out through his social media channels.
Renault driver Ricciardo was one of the first to respond, declaring via his own Instagram page that what had unfolded was "a disgrace" and that racism was "toxic".
The 30-year-old Australian has now stated that through reading and watching what has been going on he has "certainly learned a lot the last few weeks" which has "opened my eyes".
Speaking on Sky's The F1 Show, Ricciardo added: "I've learned that just because you might not be, or consider yourself a racist or a person of conflict, or whatever, that's not enough.
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"You have to speak up, you have to educate yourself and others around you. Because what I've understood is being silent is kind of part of the problem really.
"I've watched quite a few videos and stuff. There's been so much circulating on Twitter, on Instagram. I felt... I don't know if it's guilty or, how could I be so naive to everything that's been going on? It's not only the last few weeks, but it's been months, it's been years.
"It is good that finally, I think more of the world is getting exposed to it, and people are getting behind it, and also understanding that it's okay to speak up, and you're not going to be judged, you're not going to be criticised.
"I think because of the volume of everyone getting involved, and all racers getting involved, that's been really powerful."
Hamilton, in particular, has been extremely vocal in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign, recently attending a rally in Hyde Park.
Ricciardo, conceding to being moved by watching UFC fighter Israel Adesanya, a New Zealander of Nigerian descent, who was in tears during a protest march in Auckland, is at least hopeful for the future.
"I'm really happy and glad that all of us have been exposed to it and can understand more about it," Ricciardo added.
"I'm sure it breaks a lot of people's hearts learning about it and to watch videos. Some things, they're so bad that you want to turn your phone off, but I find myself watching, kind of in disbelief. But then I'm like 'How could I have not known more about this?'
"It's good, it's positive, and I think change is really happening."
In response, F1 has recently launched its #WeRaceAsOne campaign designed to promote diversity within the sport.
Ricciardo would like to believe "actions are being taken", adding: "We have to hold ourselves accountable. It's not just a phase, it's not something we do for a week and then we forget about - 'Oh yeah we've done our post on social media and we don't have to worry about it anymore'.
"For real change to happen it needs to continue. I'm glad we're doing what we can now. It's a start."
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