Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has responded to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko of comments which he likely never made in the first place.
A fan account on Twitter quoted Marko from his interview to RTL where he stated that Max Verstappen is ready for the 2020 challenge and is not being distracted by social movements – indicating towards Hamilton and his Black Lives Matter charge.
In reality, no such comment was made by Marko in his interview to RTL on June 5, where he mostly discussed about Verstappen and Red Bull gearing up for the 2020 F1 season along with Sebastian Vettel’s future and the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The quote was wrongly attributed by the fan and taken up by a site known for its clickbait nature. It seems like Hamilton picked it up and fell prey for the fake quote as he responded to it on Instagram asking Marko to introspect about what he said.
“Helmut, it deeply saddens me that you consider fighting for equal treatment of black people and people of colour, a distraction,” wrote Hamilton. “I’m actually quite offended. A distraction for me was fans showing up in a 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 in your team, about your priorities and how you view them. Wake up. This sport needs to change.”
In fact, the account – @amreten44 – which seemingly started the trouble has removed the tweet. As noted, the site used the tweet to publish the story – without verifying – and has somewhat created an undue controversy between Hamilton and Marko.
Here’s the RTL interview: https://www.rtl.de/cms/helmut-marko-red-bull-mit-kampfansage-an-mercedes-4554879.html
Here you can find translation of his interview from June 4-5: https://twitter.com/Vetteleclerc
UPDATE: Hamilton took down the post from his Instagram story following the understanding that the post was wrongly attributed to Marko.
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