Lewis Hamilton slams Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law as he reveals he will race the Miami Grand Prix wearing a rainbow helmet: ‘It’s the people in government who are the problem’
- The Mercedes driver criticized the state government for passing the law
- Hamilton spoke out for abortion rights at the Miami Grand Prix last year
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Mercedes F1 driver Sir Lewis Hamilton has torn up anti-LGBTQ+ measures taken by the Florida state legislature in recent months ahead of Sunday’s 2023 Miami Grand Prix.
A vocal ally of the global LGBTQ+ community, Hamilton compared laws passed by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to oppression in countries like Saudi Arabia.
“It’s not good at all,” Hamilton said ahead of the second Grand Prix in Miami. “I support those in the community here. I hope they stay firm and push back. I have the rainbow on my helmet. It’s no different than when we were in Saudi Arabia.’
As the only black driver in Formula 1, Hamilton is one of the most outspoken advocates for social justice, diversity and human rights.
He has spoken out on inclusion issues in countries with controversial human rights records and has previously raced in a rainbow helmet in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among others.
Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton this week in Miami overturned Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law
Hamilton has worn a rainbow helmet in countries with a bad record for LGBTQ+ rights, such as Qatar
These words from Hamilton come just days ahead of the first of three grands prix to be held in the United States – with dates in Austin, Texas and Las Vegas later this season.
Desantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education Act” — commonly referred to by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” — in March.
That law has expanded to prohibit public school teachers in the state from teaching their students about sexual orientation or gender identity.
While opposing the law, Hamilton did not say outright that Formula 1 should avoid racing in the ‘Sunshine State’ as a result of these repressive bills.
“It’s not for me to decide something like that,” said Hamilton. “I have heard and read about some of the decisions that have been made here in government and I don’t agree with them and I don’t support them.
“I really stand by the LGBTQ community and I’m wearing a rainbow flag on my helmet this weekend and I really want to continue to support the community here and let them know I’m behind them and I hope they continue to fight it .’
Hamilton added: “It’s not the people of Miami who are making these decisions, it’s the people in government and that’s the problem.
“I think hopefully all I can do – the sport will be here whether I am or not – but the least I can do is just keep supporting and just be here and have that on my helmet, hopefully that speaks. ” good to the point.’.
Hamilton did not explicitly say whether Formula 1 would have to stop racing in Florida because of this
Hamilton: ‘It’s not the people of Miami… it’s the people in the government and that’s the problem.
Hamilton also spoke out on social justice issues at last season’s Miami GP (see above)
This is not the first time Hamilton has used the Miami Grand Prix to speak out on social justice issues in the United States.
Ahead of last May’s Miami GP – the first ever held at the Miami International Autodrome – Hamilton spoke out for abortion rights in the country.
A month after the race, the Supreme Court overturned the decision in Roe v. Wade that protected an individual’s freedoms to have an abortion.
The resulting reversal of the ruling led to multiple states imposing severe restrictions on the medical procedure — including 14 states banning the procedure entirely. Many of those states do not have an exception for victims of rape or incest as part of those laws.
“I love being in the United States, but I can’t ignore what’s going on right now and what some in government are trying to do to the women who live here,” Hamilton said at the time. Everyone should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. We cannot let that choice be taken away from us.’
Hamilton has opposed the FIA’s guidelines banning drivers from speaking out on social justice issues that it introduced ahead of the start of the 2023 season
The FIA, Formula 1’s governing body, said before the season started that drivers would be banned from expressing their views on social justice issues at events.
After driver backlash, the position was clarified allowing racers to respond to questions.
While Hamilton made his comments in response to a reporter’s question, he previously indicated that he would not follow the FIA’s rule.
Hamilton is the most successful driver in Formula One history, with the most race wins in the history of the sport and is tied with Michael Schumacher for most ever World Drivers’ Championships.