Lewis Hamilton Helmut Marko Controversy: Red Bull steps in to defend the team advisor, while Hamilton takes down his post against him- a timeline to events.
Hamilton speaking on Black Lives Matter
Lewis Hamilton had promised to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Movement. The movement came into prominence after the killing of American George Floyd by a police officer. It sparked widespread protests, sometimes even turning violent.
Hamilton expressed his support for the issue and will bend a knee during the first Grand Prix of the season in Austria.
Helmut Marko ‘mocks’ Hamilton for being distracted
Following this, there were statements out in news, where Red Bull Boss Helmut Marko is apparently mocking Hamilton over his decision. He has alleged Lewis “to be distracted.”
It read: “If Lewis wants, he can take a knee at Austria. Max (Verstappen) is well prepared to take the win. He has been training and he is eager to get the season started.”
This was rumoured to be told to media outlet RTL, which has eventually turned out to be false, and the work of ‘troll’ accounts. This fake news was then picked up by various news portals and put out for the public. The articles have since been deleted by the publishers.
Hamilton takes the bait and launches a verbal attack, only to backtrack later
Hamilton got triggered by Marko’s alleged comments and wrote on social media that he was “deeply saddened and offended” by Marko’s comments, only to delete the tweet eventually.
“Helmut, it deeply saddens me that you consider fighting for equal treatment of black people and people of colour, a distraction,” said Hamilton.
“I’m actually quite offended. A distraction for me was fans showing up in black face to taunt my family on race weekends.
“A distraction for me was the unnecessary and additional adversity and unfair treatment I faced as a child, teen, and even now, due to the colour of my skin.
“I hope this speaks volumes to the few people of colour you do have on your team, about your priorities and how you view them. Wake up. This sport needs to change.”
He also appealed to his fellow drivers to speak out on the Black Lives Matter issue. Daniel Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris are some to have spoken out on the trending topic.
Red Bull steps in
The Austrian team took the cognisance of the event and quickly stepped in to defend their team advisor against the misinformation, which was grave at the scale it had already been spread.
Red Bull informed RacingNews365 in a short statement that Marko did not make the statements. “RTL confirmed to us that these statements were never made during the interview. Essentially Sports subsequently took the article and the tweet from its site.”
What might happen ahead?
Everyone is waiting in anticipation of Marko’s response to Hamilton’s outburst. It remains to be seen if he and/or Red Bull will take legal discourse against Hamilton. A defamation suit is being touted as a possible option for the aggrieved. The bait that Hamilton took turned out to be a troll, and could spell trouble for him, ahead of the start of the season.