Lewis Hamilton to wear rainbow helmet at Miami Grand Prix in defiance of anti-LGBTQ+ law
Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton said he will wear a rainbow helmet at the Miami Grand Prix in defiance of the anti-LGBTQ+ measures enacted by Florida legislators and Governor Ron DeSantis.
As the only Black driver in F1, Lewis Hamilton has often used his platform to speak out on social justice issues and to support queer rights. Ahead of the first stop of the Grand Prix in the US, which will take place in Miami, Austin, Texas and Las Vegas, Hamilton weighed in on the situation that the LGBTQ+ community currently faces in Florida.
“It’s not good. At all,” Hamilton said on Thursday, May 4. “I stand by the LGBTQ community here and hope they continue to push back.”
The driver also confirmed that he will wear a helmet with a rainbow flag at this weekend’s race in Miami, just like he did when he won in the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021. The gesture aims to spark a conversation about violations of LGBTQ+ rights in countries that have homophobic and transphobic laws.
Just spoken to Sir Lewis Hamilton about LGBT issues in Florida for @5liveSport
“It’s not good at all I stand by those within the community here. I hope they continue to stand firm + push back. I’ll have the rainbow on my helmet. It’s no different to when we were in Saudi. #F1 pic.twitter.com/8AJL89aBT2
— Christian Hewgill 🎙 (@ChrisHewgill) May 4, 2023
In Florida, Governor DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, in March 2022, prohibiting “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” for students in kindergarten up to third grade. Earlier in April, the Florida Board of Education expanded the scope of the law to include all grade levels up to the last year of high school.
“It is no different to when we were in Saudi,” Hamilton said. “It is not the right direction and not the right message.”
He added, “I am here and hoping that just by showing up with my helmet, I will be continuing to support the LGBT community and showing I stand with them in solidarity. I hope they continue to fight against it.
“My sympathy and thoughts are with the people here in Miami. It’s not them making the decisions, it’s the people in government and that’s the issue,” the F1 champion continued. “The sport is going to be here whether I am here or not. While I am here, I am just going to continue to be supportive.”
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