Formula One drivers take a knee, wear 'End Racism' shirts at season opener
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Formula One drivers wore shirts that said “End Racism” and took a knee ahead of Sunday's season-opening Austrian Grand Prix. 

Nineteen of the 20 drivers wore the “End Racism” shirts, with the U.K.'s Lewis Hamilton, the only current Black driver in Formula One, wearing one that said “Black Lives Matter”

Fourteen of the drivers took a knee prior to Sunday’s race. 


“End Racism. One cause. One commitment,” Formula One tweeted, along with a video of the drivers. “As individuals, we choose our own way to support the cause. As a group of drivers and a wider F1 family, we are united in its goal.”

Hamilton, who has been outspoken about racial inequality amid international protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, said Sunday’s race was an important moment for him and “all the people out there who are working for and hoping for change.”

“I may get criticism in the media and elsewhere, but this fight is about equality, not politics or promotion. To me it was an emotional and poignant chapter in the progress of making F1 a more diverse and inclusive sport,” he said on social media. 

Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, two of the drivers who decided not to kneel, tweeted about their decision not to join the majority of racers on Sunday. 


Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick started peacefully demonstrating against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 when he was a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers. Other athletes across the U.S. and beyond have followed Kaepernick’s lead, especially in light of recent protests following Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody. 

NASCAR, the leading auto racing league in the U.S., recently banned the Confederate flag from its events after a push from Black driver Bubba Wallace.