Lewis Hamilton has made a huge pro-LGBTQ+ statement in Qatar by using a rainbow helmet for the weekend.
Qatar is a controversial place with respect to human rights and especially LGBTQ+ rights. Gay sex is illegal in the country, and is punishable with a jail term. It is not ideal given the time and circumstances we live in.
The Arab state is hosting an F1 weekend for the first time in its history. The seven-time world champion has always been a champion of human rights, and used the opportunity to take a stand regarding what he feels is problematic.
Hamilton made a huge pro-LGBTQ+ statement in Qatar by using a rainbow helmet for the entire race weekend. The multi-coloured helmet also has the words ‘We stand together’ penned at the back.
“I do feel that there are issues in these places that we are going to, as there are around the world, but of course (this) seems to be deemed as one of the worst in this part of the world,” he explained, as quoted by grandprix247.com.
“I do think as these sports go to these places they are duty-bound to raise awareness for these issues and these places need scrutiny and need the media to speak about these things.
“Equal rights is a serious issue. However I am aware that in this place they are trying to make steps and it can’t change overnight.”
Hamilton’s actions were praised by Richard Morris, co-founder of Racing Pride, who said that his stand was inspiring.
“It is an incredible act of allyship from Lewis to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in the context of Formula One visiting a region in which LGBTQ+ people face discrimination and challenges to their human rights,” he said.
“When I was growing up and getting into motorsport, there weren’t any LGBTQ+ out drivers for me to look up to, and nobody in the sport was discussing or showing support for LGBTQ+ inclusion.
“So it fills me with hope that we are now seeing drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel be active champions for inclusion. There’s a lot more work to be done in the sport, but we are starting to move in the right direction,” he concluded.