Six-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton donned a T-shirt protesting against police violence in Nigeria for a pre-race television interview at the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday. He’s the latest global celebrity to show solidarity with Nigerian youths rallying against police brutality in their home country.
Hamilton also posted the photo showing him donned in the T-shirt on his Twitter handle with the following comment: “We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves and raise awareness of the tragedies happening in the world around us and take action where we can. The recent events in Nigeria are a human rights crisis.”
Moreover, the global sports star provided a link to the Amnesty International’s signature petition page ‘End impunity for police violence in Nigeria‘.
Thousands of Nigerians have been demonstrating for more than two weeks against a police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has now been disbanded.
We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves and raise awareness of the tragedies happening in the world around us and take action where we can. The recent events in Nigeria are a human rights crisis.
Hit the link to find out more #EndSARS 👉🏾 https://t.co/AtCcDo6dFn pic.twitter.com/VDGK3Cp1c7
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 25, 2020
Rights groups, including Amnesty International, have for years accused the police unit of extortion, harassment, torture and murders.
“I’ve got to show this,” Hamilton, Formula One’s only Black driver, told Sky Sports television as he revealed a green T-shirt with #EndSARS written on it at the end of the off-grid interview.
The Briton reverted to his usual “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt for the officially-sanctioned pre-race anti-racism gesture on the starting grid.
Formula One’s governing body last month set out new pre- and post-race rules for driver attire.
This was after Hamilton wore a T-shirt on the Tuscan Grand Prix grid with the words “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” on the front.
Taylor, a Black medical worker, was killed by police officers who burst into her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, in March.
“Lots of rules have been written for me over the years and that hasn’t stopped me,” Hamilton said when the new rules were announced.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton has recorded his 92nd career win in Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix, toppling Michael Schumacher’s record for the most wins in Formula 1 history.
Felix Dappah with agency report