Lewis Hamilton was among those overjoyed at the verdict of Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty on all charges – second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter – in connection with the death of George Floyd in Minnesota last year. The jury deliberated for 10 hours before reaching their decision, something the F1 driver described as a “monumental” moment in history.
Taking to Instagram following the news, he penned: “JUSTICE for George! The emotions I feel right now are hard to describe.”
He went on to note that this is the first time that a white officer has been convicted for killing a black man in Minnesota.
“This is monumental, George’s death is not in vain,” he stated.
“The result of the Derek Chauvin trial today is the right one. Convicting him of all three charges marks a new dawn in the fight for racial justice.”
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Hamilton believed the trial was an “opportunity for the justice system to hold Derek Chauvin accountable for his actions”, before saying: “We can now breathe a collective sigh of relief that the right decision has been met, and that justice has been served.
“Today’s outcome is a sombre victory for George and his family, but it shows that our efforts to promote justice are not in vain.
“Black voices have been heard and action is happening. When we stand together, we can make a difference.”
The racing World Champion has campaigned for equality throughout his career and he pointed out this moment “is just one step on the path towards a more equal society”.
Recently, Hamilton pledged to “keep pushing” in the fight against racism, saying it was important “to hold ourselves and others accountable”.
The racer, who led Formula 1’s pre-race demonstrations promoting equality last year, revealed he was “proud” of the fact the majority of drivers had taken the knee before races last year in solidarity.
But he added: “My question is, what’s next? The inequities within our sport and within the world persist.”
Writing in a post on social media, said: “Change is still needed. We have to keep striving for equality for all, in order to continue to see true and lasting change in our world.
“As long as I have air in my lungs, I will continue to fight for change in everything I do. I will work to create pathways and opportunities for kids of colour within sciences, engineering and creative disciplines.”
Last year, Hamilton set up his own commission to investigate the causes of the lack of diversity within the motorsport industry.
As part of his new, one-year contract signed with Mercedes, he and his team have created a joint foundation to support the cause.