The seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, has made a strong statement by announcing that he will race with his signature rainbow helmet, worn in countries where LGBTQ+ rights are restricted.
Speaking with the Associated Press, Hamilton reportedly referred to moves by Florida lawmakers as “anti-LGBTQ measures,” drawing a parallel to Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is punishable by death under Sharia law.
One specific measure Hamilton took issue with was the Parental Rights in Education law, often referred to by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. While it doesn’t ban the word “gay,” the law restricts educators from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Hamilton, who resides in Monaco but hails from Britain, voiced his opposition to the law, emphasising that his criticism is directed at lawmakers and not the people of Miami or Florida as a whole.
“The decisions are being made by people in government, not the people of Miami, and that’s the issue,” Hamilton asserted.
“I continue to stand with the LGBTQ community, and I’ll be wearing a rainbow flag on my helmet this weekend to show my support. I hope they keep fighting against these measures,” he added, reaffirming his stance as a 103-time grand prix winner.
In Friday’s practice, Hamilton secured second place, a surprising result considering Mercedes’ challenging season so far. With just one podium finish in the first four races, the British driver aims to bounce back in the Miami Grand Prix. Last year, he had a disappointing sixth-place finish in the inaugural race held in Miami.
Hamilton further expressed his solidarity with the local LGBTQ+ community, urging them to stand firm and resist the legislation. “I’ll have the rainbow on my helmet. It’s no different from when we were in Saudi [Arabia]”.
Hamilton’s bold statement and visual display of support sends a powerful message to lawmakers, sponsors, and the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting the importance of inclusivity and equality in sports.