Thursday, 6 November 2008

F1 shamed as Ecclestone panders to racism

F1's head honcho Bernie Ecclestone has embarrassed the sport by saying that those Spanish "fans" who blacked their faces, wore Afro wigs and barracked Lewis Hamilton weren't being racist. He said "It's all nonsense. In Spain people supported Fernando Alonso and in Brazil they supported Felipe Massa." Adding "I don't think it's anything to do with racism."

Well it seems pretty obvious that he doesn't think. He fails to comment on the overtly racist banners on display for 3 days at the Spanish Grand Prix. He also fails to take into account the views of the person who was on the receiving end of this overt racism, Lewis Hamilton, who has been quoted as saying "I didn't see it as a joke."

The BBC website has also reported on a worrying website:
"Visitors to a "voodoo-style" website were invited to drop imaginary nails on a computer version of the Interlagos track, in the hope that Hamilton would suffer a puncture. Many of the posts were obscene, while others referred to Hamilton's colour."

Hamilton's Father has also commented:
"My family have taken a lot of stick this past week, not just this week, but the past few months,"
"I did think that maybe this isn't the place for my family because as a parent you make sure you do right for your family and kids."


"But I never said anything to Lewis. I kept it to myself, even though I was going home and thinking 'I didn't think the world was quite like this'."

Yesterday I thought that the world was moving on with the election of Barack Obama as the first black President of the USA, but today, with Ecclestone's stupid comments, we see that the foul beast of racism still lives. I'm not, of course, accusing Ecclestone of racism himself but I am accusing him of having outdated old fashioned attitudes. All sporting organisations must do all in their power to change attitudes of ignorant and uneducated adherents of their sports.

Surely we should judge our fellow human beings on the words they speak and the deeds they do, not on the colour of their skin.

2 comments:

Julian H said...

Good post; Spanish people who behave thus shame themselves every time this happens (which is extremely frequently) and Ecclestone's comments are, frankly, stupid.

Jo Christie-Smith said...

Agreed, I couldn't believe it when I heard him on the radio last night.

but there's a lot of people who don't know how to deal with racism at all and so they try and pretend it's not there.