Saturday afternoon, the 20 Formula One drivers lined up on the Austrian Grand Prix's track wearing shirts that read "End Racism." Lewis Hamilton, the sport's only Black driver, donned a Black Lives Matter shirt while kneeling. Of the 20 drivers, 14 total kneeled while the other six stood. Charles Leclerc explained his decision by saying that "facts and behaviors" matter more than formal gestures.
When the fans saw this pre-race moment, they reacted with wildly varying responses. Some said that the drivers were "braindead" after kneeling. Others said that having six drivers stand while the others kneel was not a sign of unity. The critics were vocal, but so were those that supported Hamilton and the other drivers. Several voiced the opinion that it doesn't matter if some stood; they said that what matters is that all of the drivers are simply dedicated to fighting racism in any form.
Stop trying to divide people. We and they are all fighting Racism... united! ✌— :D (@stijnweijters) July 7, 2020
It's off their back but still kneeling so not watching it, I believe it's still on their arm. Not watching F1 anymore either. I just hope rugby dont do the same when they come back, I'm still going to sing swing low too.— Spencer Mills (@Sp3nc3rmills) July 7, 2020
Not watched a single game, the sight of them all kneeling would make me physically ill. F1 gone the same way.— Brian Shackleton (@BrianShackleto3) July 7, 2020
Where does not kneeling constitute as racism again? pic.twitter.com/2ifvh3IpJv— Lewis 🇬🇧 (@HMKingLewis) July 7, 2020
I'm glad I didn't bother to watch this garbagehttps://t.co/KSpGJvEKcw— Dr Gregg Houlden MD FEBS/EmSurg MBA (@gregghoulden) July 7, 2020
Stop kneeling— Adamrodgers777 (@adamrodgers777) July 7, 2020
Omfg so what this kneeling solve— D (@anovergy) July 6, 2020
stop being sheep
A big shout out for those who did not kneel👏👏👏— Patricia Page🇬🇧🏴 (@Patricia344130) July 6, 2020
Not kneeling while wearing an "end-racism" shirt is racist now? You realize they've used their platform to spread awareness too? And have thanked Lewis behind the scenes for speaking up and inspiring them to speak up? Some of you 'activists' are just insane at mental gymnastics— Disappointdd. (@Disappointdd1) July 5, 2020
Kimi Räikkönen was the real winner of the race not kneeling to the radical Antifa & BLM-communists and their Marxist cultural revolution funded by George Soros. Shame on you, Valtteri. Shame on you.— Angela Siniwaara🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮Commentary (@1984_Nyt) July 5, 2020
Universal symbol for the subjugated. Never catch me or anyone with any self respect kneeling.— BenjaminTR (@BeePeeAr) July 5, 2020
kneeling, segregation & BLM will not end racism, it will inflate it even more.— Saurav the truth seeker (@smmicky25) July 5, 2020
"I stand tall and proud with my hands on my heart."
"All live matter".
Kneeling to anti Semitic organisation isn't decent.— Danny (@Ph7Danny) July 5, 2020