NEW YORK: A day after Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton were involved in a dangerous collision at the Monza circuit during the Formula 1 race on Sunday, the latter flew to New York and courted controversy at the Met Gala — an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City — for his tweet, which many said was racist.
British driver Hamilton, the winner of seven F1 World Drivers’ Championship titles, posted pictures of him in a black suit and sporting a new hairstyle standing alongside fashion designers and models and tweeted, “Pure magic last night. These designers — Kenneth Nicholson, Theophilio, Jason Rembert — deserve this moment just as much as any other designer who attends the Met Gala. The goal is, and always will be, to open doors for young Black creatives (Black heart symbol).”
Lewis Hamilton attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ exhibition in New York. (Photo | AP)The “Young Black creatives” and the “Black heart symbol” in the tweet raised a huge controversy with Hamilton’s fans and critics of his “Black Lives Matter (BLM) cause” taking opposite sides on social media over the comment.
“I don’t want to spoil the party. But this is racism in its purest form. Just cut the black or young comment and it would be a lot better. Doesn’t matter who you are. Good work should always be appreciated. Just as an opinion btw. (Grinning face with smiling eyes emoji),” wrote a critic.
Responding to the comment, a fan wrote, “Ah yes, another white man lecturing black people about racism. You never seem to find the irony.”
Some voices said that there was no need to create multiple sides by making such comments on social media.
“I don’t care about black white etc. I just try to point out that in my opinion its not smart to create multiple sides. the opposite of what we want to achieve,” someone wrote on twitter.
Hamilton’s comments, though, had been liked by more than 50,000 people and re-tweeted about 5,000 times and received more than 1,100 comments.
Hamilton has taken a knee on the grid on a few occasions and worn anti-racism slogans in support of the cause “Black Lives Matter”.
Hamilton has gone on record saying that his support for anti-racism and protests against incidences of racial discrimination and injustice will not be inhibited by FIA rulings. The British driver had also worn T-shirt bearing the words, “Arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor” at the Tuscan Grand Prix in Mugello last year.