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EXCLUSIVE: Matt Bishop Lauds Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for Speaking in Favor of LGBTQ+ Rights

Vidit Dhawan
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Exclusive: Matt Bishop Lauds Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for Speaking in Favor of LGBTQ Rights

Over the past few years, the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have undertaken several initiatives to promote diversity and inclusivity in F1. Journalist Matt Bishop, who himself is an openly gay man, has lauded the two legendary F1 drivers for their efforts. In an exclusive conversation with The SportsRush‘s Tanish Chachra, Bishop was asked about what has prompted the likes of Hamilton and Vettel to express their views about inclusivity and diversity more freely now.

In reply, the British journalist said, “The world has changed as I say and Formula 1 has changed with it. Formula 1 when it began, in the ashes of the Second World War in 1950, we’re talking about really white male heterosexuals”.

Bishop believes that because of F1’s historical context, most of the founders of the sport developed prejudices. However, he believes that the newer generations no longer have such prejudices.

Since most of the youth of today’s generation do not have any significant prejudices, they tend to have a more open mindset and have more acceptance towards others. As a result of this increased acceptance in society, Bishop believes that the likes of Vettel and Hamilton also feel more comfortable in expressing their viewpoints.

Bishop then explained how he is very proud of both Hamilton and Vettel for the efforts they have put in to speak about LGBTQ+ rights. Bishop referred to both these drivers as “allies” as they have repeatedly voiced their support for the LGBTQ+ community.

The journalist pointed out how Hamilton is famous for voicing his support by wearing his rainbow helmet. Meanwhile, when it came to Vettel, Bishop revealed that the German had the perfect response to anyone who spoke against LGBTQ+ rights. Bishop explained,

“He (Vettel) expressed it better than I’ve ever heard anyone express it at all. He simply used to say: ‘Everyone in the world has an inalienable right to be who they want to be and love whom they want to love. And if you can’t agree with that, then I think you’re the person who’s got the problem”.

Matt Bishop believes younger drivers are unfazed by older generations’ prejudices

After praising both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for their support, Matt Bishop then pointed out how none of the younger drivers share the prejudices that many of the older generation did when he joined F1. The British journalist revealed that he joined F1 in the early 1990s, a time when it was uncommon for the LGBTQ+ community to freely express themselves.

As a result, when he chose to come out, his peers regarded him as the “only gay in the Formula One village”. While Bishop was confident that he was not the only one, he believes that such was the discomfort that people like him faced to come out and freely express themselves.

After revealing the same, Bishop then explained how times have changed in today’s generation. The journalist believes that many of the younger drivers like Kevin Magnussen, Stoffel Vandoorne, and Nyck de Vries never cared about him being gay.

In fact, Bishop revealed that the trio also met his husband, Angel, and not once did they seem fazed when they saw two men being married to one another. Bishop then concluded his remarks by explaining how even big companies like Liberty Media now have to be more careful with their stance on the LGBTQ+ community for commercial reasons.

Bishop believes that as more and more drivers have begun to voice their support for the LGBTQ+ community, bigger corporations have no choice but to promote diversity and inclusion in their organizations. The Briton pointed out that if these companies do not do so, then people will “wonder why” they are hesitant to showcase their support.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan

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Vidit Dhawan is the F1 writer and Editor at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

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