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Furious Leclerc berates critics over his anti-racism stance

Furious Leclerc berates critics over his anti-racism stance

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Furious Leclerc berates critics over his anti-racism stance

Furious Leclerc berates critics over his anti-racism stance

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has launched an angry response against accusations of racism which have followed his decision not to kneel before grands prix this year.

The drivers have so far staged anti-racism protests ahead of each of the four races to date, although those prior to the Styrian and Hungarian Grands Prix were rushed and fragmented.

Leclerc, though, has been one of those who has elected to stand rather than kneel, and in defending such an action, he claims his words have been twisted to make him out as racist.

Via his Twitter account, a clearly angry Leclerc said: "It is very sad to see how some people manipulate my words to make headlines making me sound like a racist.

"I am not racist and I absolutely hate racism. Racism is disgusting.

"Stop putting me in the same group as these disgusting people that are discriminating others because of their skin colour, religion or gender.

"I'm not part of them and I never will. I've always been respectful to everyone and that should be the standard in today's world.

"And to whoever is using my image to promote their wrong ideas, please stop. I'm not into politics and I don't want to be involved in that."

Six drivers stood during the protests at three of the opening four races, with Kevin Magnussen adding to this number at the British Grand Prix.

F1 has maintained throughout that drivers will be allowed to protest in the way they see fit as individuals, whether this means taking the knee or not. To do so is an action synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Explaining his remarks on social media, Leclerc added: "I just don't want to be judged any more.

"As I've said many times before, I'm quite active on social media and I just do not accept any more to be called the way I have been called in the last few weeks, negatively obviously, just because of not kneeling.

"That is it. I just wanted to make a straightforward tweet just to express my feelings and that is it."

Before you go...

Verstappen slates single-practice format at Imola as "stupid" and "wrong"

Hülkenberg in talks with teams over permanent F1 return

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