I readily admit that of all the sports that I regularly watch, Formula One racing isn’t one of them. However, as with most sports and industries where there are few minorities, I am always drawn into the lives and overall experiences of those minorities who have succeeded in them. With that being said, I was horrified on reading yesterday that 23 year old, British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, was subjected to various racial abuse on Saturday while attending a pre-season testing at the Montmelo race circuit in Barcelona, Spain.
Fans booed and shouted racist taunts like “puto negro” (f***ing black) and “negro de mierda” (black *hit) and even dressed in wigs and blackface wearing shirts that read, “Hamilton’s Family”. Hamilton stated that he was “somewhat sad” but also went on to explain that “even though I imagined what might happen it has not been pleasant”. Hamilton’s tumultuous relationship with former team mate, Fernando Alonso is the reported source of the backlash. Spain has a history of racially motivated incidents in sports and the governing body of Formula One racing, the FIA has stated that Spain could lose it’s grands prix because of this incident.