“If one of the pilots confesses to being gay, is he going to ask all of us to become gay?” Fired the Russian Vitali Petrov, who criticized him for the protests against racism.
George Floyd’s crime at the hands of the US Police generated protests around the world, which also reached international sports. Several athletes raised their voices. In the case of motorsports, the main spokesperson was Lewis Hamilton, a British racer of Caribbean descent, who with a clenched fist decided to demand justice before and after the races. But not everyone agrees.
Russian Vitali PetrovThe 36-year-old, known for being the first in his country to compete in the category, referred forcefully to the claims of the Mercedes man.
“This is superfluous, besides calling everyone to kneel …”, he launched. “It is a personal matter for all adults. You have the right to speak on your social networks, create a social movement. But in Formula 1 calling everyone is not right.”
The Russian also referred to the controversy that was generated after Hamilton used on the podium of the Tuscany GP a T-shirt asking for the arrest of the policemen involved in the crime of Breonna Taylor, a 27-year-old emergency medical technician who was killed March 13 at his home in Louisville, Kentucky, during a shooting involving three officers.
“Half of the spectators did not understand anything about this jersey until it was explained to them,” Petrov said of the fact that caused discontent in the FIA, although Hamilton later warned on social media that he did not plan to back down.
And then Petrov shot another very striking phrase: “If one of the pilots confesses to being gay, will he come out with a rainbow flag and urge everyone to become gay or something else?”
Finally, the Russian punctually attacked the fact of kneeling in protest. “I do not understand the ceremony. According to our traditions they only kneel twice: in front of God and when you propose to your wife,” said the former Renault and Lotus racer.
“In Russia there is a different mentality and we do not have the problem that Hamilton talks about,” he explained and then closed with a slightly more conciliatory phrase: “There must be respect for all people.”