Formula 1 boss slams drivers for BLM and LGBTQ stance, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel
Formula 1 boss Mohammed bin Sulayem has sent shockwaves through the F1 world with his comments regarding drivers taking a stand on global issues.
The comments were made at the Monaco Grand Prix and saw Ben Sulayem say drivers shouldn’t put politics first.
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In an interview with GrandPrix247, Ben Sulayem said he doesn’t impose his beliefs on others and he wants drivers to do the same.
“Niki Lauda and Alain Prost only cared about driving,” he said.
“Now Vettel rides a rainbow bike, Lewis is passionate about human rights and Norris deals with mental health. Everyone has the right to think. For me, it’s about decide whether we should impose our beliefs in something above sport all the time.
“I come from an Arab culture. I am international and Muslim. I do not impose my beliefs on others? Certainly not! Never. If you look at my operation in the UAE: 16 nationalities! Name me a federation that has so many nationalities.
“In addition, there are more than 34% women and 7 religions. And even more Christians than Muslims. I am proud because it creates credibility and merit.
“But am I going to lay down my convictions? No. The rules are there, even now there are problems when it comes to, for example, jewelry, I didn’t write that.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have continually shown their support for global issues such as Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ.
Vettel recently graced the cover of Attitude magazine – Europe’s biggest LGBTQ publication – in which he said he condemned anti-gay bias and called for global inclusivity.
“For me, it’s very simple: how can anyone think they have the right to dictate to someone how they should live or who they should love?” said Vettel.
“The answer is: they don’t have that right. I am happy to defend this principle.
“I am totally against racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and all forms of prejudice. I am very concerned about the environment. I will always defend these values and principles.
“Whether I like someone or not has nothing to do with their sexual orientation or the color of their skin. I see everyone as equal. But hearing people, or reading their stories, and learning how they handled the repression surely had an impact on me, both consciously and unconsciously.
As backlash from F1 fans poured in, Ben Sulayem tried to clarify his comments on social media.
“As a pilot, I have always believed in sport as a catalyst for progress in society. This is why promoting sustainability, diversity and inclusion is a key priority of my tenure. Likewise, I appreciate the commitment of all drivers and champions to a better future,” he wrote.
Formula 1 drivers will be behind the microphones today for media sessions ahead of the start of practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.