Lewis Hamilton In Quotes

The outspoken #TOGETHERBAND ambassador on equality, education, being vegan and the Global Goals

22 july 2021

In 2020, seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton joined #TOGETHERBAND as an ambassador for Goal 4: Quality Education. The first Black Formula One Champion in the history of the sport, the youngest to be awarded an F1 contract and officially the most decorated, he is a passionate campaigner for racial equality, especially in sport, and supports Black Lives Matter. He is also an advocate for human rights, the protection of the environment and animal rights, and has been vegan since 2017, helping to launch Neat Burger, which he describes as the ‘first plant-based sustainable burger chain’. Not only that, he’s a figurehead for a number of charities, including UNICEF, Invictus Foundation and Save The Children Fund.

Given all of these achievements, it’s perhaps no surprise that in 2009, Hamilton was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II. And he's just launched a new charitable foundation with an incredible personal donation of £20m; Mission 44 aims to support underrepresented groups in the UK by addressing the education and employment gap through partnerships, grants and advocacy. 

Since he campaigns for so many of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we thought we would celebrate some of the best quotes from this outspoken champion.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

On Marcus Rashford

‘I’ve been reading about what he’s done, and to be doing it so young is just incredible. I’m excited to see what he does next because the impact he’s already had is just… man.’ 

On the UK Government’s U-turn on free school meals after Rashford’s lobbying: 

‘But where did they get that money? Where were they putting it before? All of a sudden, it’s, “Oh yeah, we can do that.” Well, what were they doing with it before?’

Goal 4: Quality Education

On school:

‘I had a difficult time at school. I didn’t realise I was dyslexic until I was 17 and just struggled so much. I was always playing catchup. ‘Everyone should have access to quality education. But shockingly there are still millions of children globally who don’t have access to schools and education. This needs to change.’ 

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

On the death of George Floyd and his fellow FI drivers' reaction:

‘I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice. Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white dominated sport. I'm one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone. I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can't stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you.’ 

On equality:

‘The way minorities are treated has to change, how you educate those in your country of equality, racism, classism and that we are all the same. We are not born with racism and hate in our hearts, it is taught by those we look up to.’

On BLM protestors pulling down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol:

‘Edward Colston was a monster who bought, sold, and traded Africans, human beings, and forced them into slavery until they died. Nobody who did this should be honored. It was/is terrorism. Now. Then. ⁣He never should’ve had a statue. ⁣I’m proud of the activists and organizers in Bristol, in the United Kingdom, who tore this down. ⁣TEAR THEM ALL DOWN. Everywhere. ⁣I support this.’

On the FIA rule to wear suits zipped up to the neck, after Hamilton wore a T-shirt during the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix that said ‘Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor’ on the front and ‘Say her name’ with a photo of Taylor on the back:

 ‘[There are] certain limits that they feel that they have to work within’,[but I don’t] regret a single moment of it’.

On Formula 1:

‘Kids, people, there are so many jobs in this sport of which anybody, no matter your ethnicity or background, can make it and fit in.’

On his influence:

‘I have a responsibility as a person of colour. I’ve got a niece and nephew who are growing up biracial and I don’t want them to experience what I experienced. I have this voice, this platform, and it’s not for personal use — it’s for trying to gain traction and push for change.’

Watch our short film of Lewis’s visit to Alperton Community School last year where a small group of students were given the opportunity to speak to him

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

On being vegan:

‘A couple of my mechanics have become vegan because I’ve done it. One of my barbers, too.’

Goal 13: Climate Action

On being more sustainable:

‘I don't allow anyone in my office, but also within my household, to buy any plastics. I want everything recyclable, down to deodorant, down to toothbrush, all these kinds of things ... I'm trying to make as much change as I can in my personal space. I sold my plane over a year ago. I fly a lot less now.’ 

On sustainability in F1:

‘I am trying to push for sustainability with my team. I am trying to get more involved in Formula 1 and be more conscious. Mercedes-Benz is a huge organisation. I have got a phone call with the CEO later today to discuss how we can work on getting rid of all the leather supplied to the cars. That is something I want to be involved in.’

100% of profits from the sales of #TOGETHER products go to charities that advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more here.

Goal 15: Life On Land

On animal rights:

‘[A]s the human race, what we are doing to the world ... the pollution [in terms of emissions of global-warming gases] coming from the amount of cows that are being produced is incredible. The cruelty is horrible and I don't necessarily want to support that and I want to live a healthier life.’

Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

On freedom of speech:

‘It is open for anyone to have freedom of speech, and I guess we can all play a role in trying to make a difference in the world. Particularly if your leader is not helping in that area.’

On beliefs:

‘It’s important for everyone to stand up for what they believe in.’

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