TASS, July 5. Six Formula 1 drivers have refused to bend the knee in protest against racial discrimination before the start of the Austrian Grand Prix race on Sunday.
Nevertheless, all the six, Mon·gasque Charles Leclerc driving in for Scuderia Ferrari, Russia’s Daniil Kvyat and France’s Pierre Gasly racing for Alpha Tauri, Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen and Italy’s Antonio Giovinazzi driving for Alfa Romeo, and Dutch racing driver Max Verstappen (Red Bull), were wearing slogan T-shirts calling to fight against racism.
Shortly before the start, Verstappen and Leclerc wrote on their accounts in social networks that they supporter anti-racism efforts but would not bend the knee.
"I believe that what matters are facts and behaviours in our daily life rather than formal gestures that could be seen as controversial in some countries. I will not take the knee but this does not mean at all that I am less committed than others in the fight against racism," Leclerc wrote on his Twitter account.
The knee bending action was held as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which emerged amid mass riots and protests triggered by the death of George Floyd, an African American who died in hospital on May 25 after the police had used excessive force during his detention in Minnesota.