Fernando Alonso has broken his silence on the racist abuse of Lewis Hamilton by supporters of his at the Circuit de Catalunya two weeks ago:
This is not a racist country. This was an isolated thing — and the less it is talked about, the better. There were people enjoying Carnival and look what happened. They call me a dog and no one comes out in my defence. I don’t think we need an anti-racist campaign like FIA want to organize for the Grand Prix at Barcelona.
I’m concerned and disappointed by his attitude.
I’m not unsympathetic to his complaint that, “They call me a dog and no one comes out in my defence,” but it’s difficult to understand it when he hasn’t said who “they” are. As far as I’m aware “dog” isn’t a racial epithet unlike the cries of “black s***” that were directed at Hamilton.
Alonso has taken his cue from Bernie Ecclestone’s recent remarks along the same lines, using the same word “isolated” to describe them even though Max Mosley has suggested there was also racist abuse of Hamilton last year.
I know some people have reservations about the FIA’s hard-line stance against racism, and are concerned that it is an excessive reaction to abuse that, so far, has only involved a small number of people.
My reason for supporting the campaign is simple: this blog has had racist remarks posted on it and I have and will continue to delete them. They have not just been targeted at Hamilton, but most of them have. But whoever it is aimed at racism is disgusting and I will not allow it on my website.
One driver condoning the racist abuse of another is simply unacceptable. Will the FIA react?
More on racism in F1