Lewis Hamilton calls on governments to rip down ‘all statues of racist men’ after Edward Colston monument is toppled – The Sun

LEWIS HAMILTON has called on governments across the world to rip down "all statues of racist men" after Edward Colston's monument was toppled in Bristol.

F1 world champion Hamilton has been outspoken on social media since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the subsequent Black Lives Matter campaign.

Colston's statue had stood in Bristol since 1895 and, while he was known for his philanthropy, he amassed much of his wealth through the slave trade.

Hamilton wrote: "Slave trader Edward Colston statue pulled down!!! Our country honoured a man who sold African slaves!

"All statues of racist men who made money from selling a human being should be torn down! Which one is next?

"I challenge government officials worldwide to make these changes and implement the peaceful removal of these racist symbols."

The Brit, 35, has since followed up his comments with another longer post in which he suggested Colston's statue should be replaced with a memorial to the slaves he trafficked.

Hamilton wrote: "Watching the news today regarding the statue torn down yesterday! If those people hadn't taken down that statue, honouring a racist slave trader, it would never have been removed.

"There's talk of it going into a museum. That man's statue should stay in the river just like the 20 thousand African souls who died on the journey here and thrown into the sea with no burial or memorial.

"He stole them from their families, country and he must not be celebrated! It should be replaced with a memorial for all those he sold, all those that lost their lives!!"

The six-time F1 champion arrived in the UK from the United States late on Sunday night ahead of the enforced 14 day quarantine period.

New UK arrivals from today will have to spend two weeks in self-isolation as part of measures to prevent a second-wave of the coronavirus.

Yet in his post on Instagram, Hamilton says he is stunned that the quarantine rule has only just come into effect and says the government should have introduced it months ago to "save thousands of lives".

He wrote: "I am appalled at the UK government on how they have handled covid.

"You should have closed the boarders months ago. How can you let people fly in from countries without being tested is baffling.

"You could have saved thousands of lives. We need better leaders!"

The F1 season will start on July 5 in Austria and this week Hamilton will get in some much-needed practice at Silverstone.

He will get behind the wheel of his 2018 F1 car on Wednesday while his team-mate Valtteri Bottas will get a run out on Tuesday.

F1 have introduced strict measures that will be in place for the Austrian GP including banning drivers and team members from leaving their hotels.

Anyone found breaking the rules will have their paddock passes revoked.

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