The story behind Lewis Hamilton's salute after winning the Styrian GP

The Englishman celebrated his first victory of the year with his right arm raised and a clenched fist to demonstrate his fight against racial discrimination.


For the English Lewis Hamilton this 2020 is very special. Not only for having the possibility of equaling the record of titles in the F1 German Michael Schumacher, but because undertook an intense fight against racial discrimination sensitized by the murder of George floyd at the hands of a policeman from the American city of Minneapolis.

His position on this issue had a deep impact on the category, which started its own campaign in search of equal opportunities; and even in Mercedes, his team, who changed the traditional silver tone of their cars for black.

After staying with the desire to express his position against racism on the podium of the Austrian GP, the first date of the 2020 tournament, which saw him in fourth place after a surcharge, Hamilton indulged himself with his triumph at the Styrian GP, also performed at the Red Bull Ring.

Tommie Smith
Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos and their historic greeting.

From the highest step of the podium, Hamilton raised his right arm, clenched his fist and bowed his head slightly.. This is how he replicated the gesture that the athletes had Tommie Smith y John Carlos in the 1968 Olympics when they chose that salute after winning the gold and bronze medals in the 200 meter sprint for speak out against the treatment that the black population received in the United States.

The attitude of Smith and Carlos was severely punished by the International Olympic Committee. Both were banned from participating in subsequent Olympic activities because the regulations prohibited any kind of political statement at the Games. Years later, Smith declared in his biography that it had not been a greeting referring to the movement Black Power, but one in favor of human rights ...

Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela.

The South African politician and philanthropist Nelson Mandela He also used it as a salutation when he left Victor Verster prison in 1990. This was the last prison in which Mandela was, who spent 27 years of his life in prison ...

The symbol of the raised and clenched fist is used today by the movement Black Lives Matter, which was born in 2013 with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social networks after the acquittal of George zimmerman for the death of the African American teenager Trayvon Martin because of a gunshot. Following Floyd's murder, Black Lives Matter took a new levy.

For the English psychologist Oliver James, The appeal of the raised fist salute is that it allows the individual to indicate that "It intends to confront the malevolent and massive institutional force with force of its own", and who is united with others in the fight against common oppression.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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