England took the runner-up European Cup after losing to Italy on penalties and, on social media, a wave of racism fell on the three English players who lost the shots. Reacting to offenses on Rashford, Sancho and Saka, Lewis Hamilton was silent and posted a text in support of the players.
“The disgusting behavior of a few shows how much work still needs to be done. Hope this opens up a conversation about acceptance. We must work for a society that does not require black players to prove their worth or position in society through victory alone. Everyone in the England team should be very proud of their achievements and how they represented us”, wrote the Mercedes driver.
Activist and always present in the debate on the fight against racism, the seven-time world champion also spoke about the experience of winning and losing as a black athlete and the campaign of the English team in the Euro Cup.
“So much was going through my mind as I watched the final moments of the match last night. On the one hand, I was so proud of how far we've come… Being in the final and with such a diverse team is a huge achievement we should all be proud of, but as the players prepared to take penalties, I was worried. The pressure to deliver is felt by all sportsmen, but when you are a minority representing your country, this is a layered experience. Success would seem like a double victory, but failure seems like a double failure when combined with racist abuse. I wanted that win as much as all of you, but for me it was much more than winning the euros, it was a much bigger picture,” he said on his Instagram.
In Formula 1, Hamilton is the only black driver and seeks to maintain social agendas amidst the billionaire motorsport environment. Who also took a stand against attacks on the three players of the national team was the English football federation itself, which condemned racism and promised support to the athletes.