Monday, February 04, 2008

Hamilton Faces Racist Abuse

I am not a fan of Formula One racing but I started paying some attention when Lewis Hamilton shook up the rafters and brought some real excitement to the sport.

Hamilton, a 23 year old Black Briton, has however angered some Spanish fans who support his Spaniard team mate and rival, Fernando Alonso.

So what is a bigotted Spanish fan to do when your hero is left looking quite ordinary by a brilliant Black kid?

Well taunt him of course. And what better way to taunt him than by showing up in blackface and wooly wigs with shirts that read "Hamilton's Familly" (sic).

These bigots showed up on Saturday as Hamilton was testing at the Montmelo circuit in Barcelona.

Sad huh?

Hamilton says he is saddened by this behaviour. But he is not alone in facing this kind of racist abuse.

Sports figures who are not white are often racially abused at sporting events in Spain.

Last year there was a spate of racist insults at football (soccer) matches.

Something needs to be done. Something more than just another official commentary about weeding racism out of sporting events in Spain.

In the meantime, I will be watching Hamilton this season and hoping that he ends up number one this year.

Those who know say he almost did last year and will definitively do so this year.


***Update(February 5)***
The TimesOnline reports that "Spain has been threatened with the loss of its Formula One Grand Prix races following the racist abuse suffered by Lewis Hamilton at a Barcelona racetrack."


Eugene said...

Reminds me of the Tomahawk Chop.

Maybe folks should show up in mock conquistador costumes and hack folks with fake swords and toss fake blood all over the place.

I'm just sayin'.

Ridwan said...

That is a good idea brother.


Dade said...

How very disappointing...

I've been so in love with Spain and Spaniards that I guess I'd placed them on a pedestal.

Racists are everywhere, I suppose. But what a sad and disillusioning reminder...


LAILAP said...


thankyou for another enlightening revelation, i cant believe how naieve i was to think that these sort of things just dont happen anymore...and yet there i am in my very profession, one of two indian females, in a staff of more than 12 white males...the staff total is 16. I wouldnt know were to start in challenging such a minipulative system but i have faith in the truth and those like yourself who have the courage to simply call things as they see it. In the past i would have thought "what immature behaviour by those morons" and moved on. Now i realise while the above remains true...the moron bit...people still need to be accountable, its just not okay to get away with disgusting behaviour like that.

p.s im a hamilton fan!

takecare brother
laila (ziyaad sends his slmz)

Ridwan said...

Hey there Dade. I have been thinking about you as I watched some of the results from Super Tuesday.

Interesting stuff. So it will be McCain on the elephant side then?

News24 reports that Spanish fans have taken the racist insults to the web.

You can read their report here:,,1369-1375_2265379,00.html

Folks can be crude anywhere but Spain has a particular problem in the arena of sports.

Be well brother!


Ridwan said...

Salaam Laila!

It is great to hear from you my sista. Moms told me that you started the new job this week.

I know you are representing and know that I am proud of you Dr.

Thanks kindly for your thoughts on the Hamilton issue.

I expect that there are people in Spain who are embarrassed by this incident.

We have come a long way in our collective struggle but sometimes it is not far enough.

I remember once that someone wrote here to tell me that I was still an animal, an uncivilized brute, despite my education and profession.

Race essentialism is not a thing of the past even if some are blind to its reality.

Hamilton was hurt by this incident.

I can relate.

So, I will come to visit you soon.

Please give my salaams to Ziyaad.

Peace and struggle sista.