Ahead of the maiden Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday, there have been concerns about infringements of human rights in the Middle East, especially regarding the LGBTQ community.
Constantly facing sportswashing accusations from around the globe, the Middle East has created fears of not just oppressing the LGBTQ, but also maltreating women. This called for complaints and awareness from different individuals and groups vouching for the equality of human rights.
In yesterday’s pre-race press conference, Mercedes duo Hamilton and Bottas spoke up about the need to solve human rights issues in most Asian countries. The seven-time world champion challenged F1 to address the topic, terming it their obligation.
“I do think as these sports go to these places, they (F1) are duty bound to raise awareness for these issues.” Said Hamilton. The 36-year old believes that the media should take action and scrutinize inhumane actions in the UAE. “…these places need scrutiny, need the media to speak,” he stated.
Although he admits the situation cannot take a sudden turn, Hamilton believes speaking up will pressurize the concerned parties into making changes. “It can’t change overnight…that pressure could hopefully create change,” the defending champion said.
Hamilton is often outspoken on various topics, especially racism, LGBTQ rights, and gender-based violence. Apparently, the release of a teenager from prison last year was mostly due to an interview in which Lewis criticized oppression last year.
Echoing the record-breaking grand prix winner’s words, his fellow drivers called for action against human rights offenders, despite them (racers) admitting that their numbers aren’t significant enough to warrant a change.