Global sport must unite on human rights - Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton believes global sports bodies have a united duty to “use the platform they have to push for change” when it comes to human rights issues.
Hamilton received a letter when he arrived in Bahrain for this weekend’s grand prix, outlining concerns from three Bahraini citizens about oppression and torture.
The seven-time champion said he would “take time” to digest the letter’s contents but issued an immediate response, declaring: “The human rights issue in so many of the places we go to is a consistent and massive problem.
“This year has shown how important it is for not only us as a sport but for all the sports around the world to utilise the platform they have and push for change.
“We are one of the only ones that go to so many different countries. As a sport, we need to do more. We have taken a step in that direction but we can always do more.”
Next year’s 23-race calendar includes events in six countries where human rights groups have raised concerns - Russia, China, Azerbaijan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
On Tuesday, a collection of British MPs and human rights organisations led by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy wrote to F1’s chief executive, Chase Carey, highlighting a variety of concerns on the topic.
The Bahraini authorities have since issued a statement rejecting claims of human rights abuses and sportswashing.
But Hamilton believes F1 should use its global presence to do more than just ‘talk the talk’, adding: “There are some steps in place for the places we are going to, but it’s important to make sure they are implemented in the right way.
“It’s not just us saying that we’re going to do something, but we [need to] actually see some action taken.”
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