Former Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone stirred a fresh controversy on Friday after he said that "black people are more racist than what white people are" in multiple cases and that taking down the statues across the United States of America and England was "completely stupid".
In an interview with an American news channel, Ecclestone lauded Lewis Hamilton for his talent and the work that he has been doing for the black rights movement. However, when asked about the impact of the Englishman's Hamilton Commission in increasing diversity in the sport, the 89-year-old said that it will not do any good or bad, but will make people think since people will realise the differences between each other. Specifying on why it will not make an impact, he said, "In lots of cases,black people are more racist than what white people are."
When asked to justify his comments, without mentioning any incident or providing any significant details, Eccelstone said "things over the years I have noticed and there is no need for it."
Ecclestone suggested that change will take place by teaching kids right from school so that they grow without thinking about such things.
Formula One has repeatedly been accused of being a sport that lacks diversity and does not support those of color and from different backgrounds. Hamilton, a six-time world champion has used his stature to promote diversity and has, on multiple occasions, mentioned how he faced discrimination during his formative years.
Hamilton, who is the only Black world champion in F1, has spoken widely about racism, said that he felt “so much anger, sadness and disbelief” following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. Writing a piece in a leading British daily earlier this month, Hamilton said it would be a research partnership dedicated to exploring how motorsport can be used as a vehicle to “engage more young people from Black backgrounds with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and, ultimately, employ them on our teams or in other engineering sectors."
Lewis Hamilton further wrote that he has been fighting racism throughout his racing career and was one of the very few people of colour on his teams. He also said that he is used to the idea that no one will speak up for him when he faces racism because no one can feel or understand his experience.