Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says ‘black people are more racist than white people’ and was ‘surprised’ that taunts from fans in blackface upset Lewis Hamilton
- Bernie Ecclestone, 89, says he’s ‘surprised’ Lewis Hamilton was upset by racism
- The six-time F1 World Champion has endured abuse from fans in black face twice
- Former F1 chief executive says removing statues amid protests is ‘stupid’
Bernie Ecclestone has claimed ‘black people are more racist than white people,’ adding that he was ‘surprised’ Lewis Hamilton was upset by racial abuse from fans in an interview.
The 89-year-old former Formula One Group chief executive made a series of comments during an interview with CNN Sport reacting to recent Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the US.
When asked to back up his claim that ‘black people are more racist than white people,’ Mr Ecclestone said it was something he had ‘noticed’.
Last week F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton revealed the racial abuse he had received in his career, including an incident in Spain in 2008 where fans taunted him in blackface.
Shocking pictures from the race 12 years ago showed fans in blackface, wearing t-shirts with ‘Hamilton’s family’ written across the front.
More fans were spotted in blackface at the same race the following year.
Speaking to CNN Sport, Mr Ecclestone said: ‘I’m surprised that it concerns him. I’m really unhappy if he took it seriously. I never thought he did. I didn’t think it affected him.’
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Lewis Hamilton said Britain’s bias included ‘telling black women they’re too confident, treating black men like a threat or asking us to change our natural appearance to look more “professional”.
‘As a nation, we’re quick to condemn monkey noises and bananas thrown at black footballers, but when it comes to addressing structural issues, the people in power stay silent.
He added: ‘Being the first black “anything” is a proud and lonely walk.
‘When I started out, I took my father’s advice to work twice as hard, keep my head down, my mouth shut, and let my driving do the talking.
‘It was only when wearing my helmet that I felt free to be myself.’
F1 Supremo Ecclestone, also told the interview it was ‘stupid’ to remove statues amid pressure from the Black Lives Matter movement.
He claimed students should instead be shown statues of controversial figures should to understand their history.
Ecclestone was seen as the man in charge of Formula One for nearly 40 years, until Liberty Media completed its £6.4bn takeover of the sport in 2017.
In April the 89-year-old announced his partner Fabiana Flosi, 44, was pregnant with his fourth child.
Hamilton took to Instagram last Wednesday to respond to allegedly fabricated quotes, which were reportedly from an F1 chief, that claimed drivers involved in the anti-racism movement could be distracted.
In the since deleted post, he said: ‘It deeply saddens me that you consider fighting for equal treatment of black people and people of colour, a distraction.
‘I’m actually quite offended.
‘A distraction for me was fans showing up in black face to taunt my family on race weekends.
‘A distraction for me was the unnecessary and additional adversity and unfair treatment I faced as a child, teen, and even now, due to the colour of my skin.
‘I hope this speaks volumes to the few people of colour you do have on your team about your priorities and how you view them. Wake up. This sport needs to change.’
Racing in the US has been rocked by scandal in recent weeks after NASCAR’s only full-time black driver found a noose in his garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway.
A crew member for Richard Petty Motorsports discovered the noose on Sunday at the Alabama race track.
The FBI launched a full investigation amid fears it had been placed as a hate crime.
However earlier this week invesigators revealed it was in fact a garage door pull rope styled like a noose that had been hanging since at least October 2019.
As a result, no federal charges would be filed.
Posted by Daily Mail