“It is very sad to see how some people manipulate my words to make headlines making me sound like a racist,” Leclerc, 22, said on Twitter a few moments before attending the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix news conference.
These were some of the words Ferrari’s F1 driver, Charles Leclerc, spoke out yesterday at those who accused him of racist behaviour in not taking a knee alongside other Formula One drivers before the recent Grand Prices.
Formula One F1 - 70th Anniversary Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - August 6, 2020 Ferrari's Charles Leclerc during a press conference ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Image credit FIA/Handout via REUTERS
While the British six-times champion Lewis Hamilton has pushed all F1 drivers and managers to support and promote Black Lives Matter movement by wearing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt and taking a knee before all four races to date this season, however, drivers are free to choose their gesture of support.
Seven F1 drivers, including Charles Leclerc, remained standing last weekend at the Silverstone Circuit, UK, despite Hamilton’s numerous solicitations of support for the BLM from all members of the highest class of international single-seater auto racing.
“It is very sad to see how some people manipulate my words to make headlines making me sound like a racist,” Leclerc added on Twitter, a few moments before attending a 70th Anniversary Grand Prix news conference.
Image credit Y100 WNCY/Reuters
“I am not racist, and I 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,” Ferrari’s driver added.
“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.”
These were the statements that Leclerc said to a reporters’ conference, after that he had got frustrated with being falsely accused.
“I just don’t want to be judged anymore,” he explained.
“As I have said many times, I am quite active on social media and I do not accept to be called the way I have been called in the last few weeks, negatively obviously, just because of not kneeling,” he concluded.