‘Black people more racist than white’, says racing boss
Formula 1 have said they "completely disagree" with comments made by the sport's former chief executive Bernie Ecclestone about racism.
A statement released by Formula 1 condemned the comments made by the 89-year-old Ecclestone, which were made in an interview with CNN.
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"At a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone's comments that have no place in Formula 1 or society.
"Mr Ecclestone has played no role in Formula 1 since he left our organisation in 2017, his title Chairman Emeritus, being honorific expired, in January 2020."
In a shocking string of comments, the 89-year-old said: "In lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are."
But when challenged by the outlet, Mr Ecclestone said he didn't have any evidence - just saying that he had "noticed" it over the years.
Ecclestone, who stepped down as chief executive in 2017, also said he was "surprised" to hear Lewis Hamilton had been affected by racist issues in the sport.
"I'm surprised that it concerns him," he said.
"I'm really unhappy if he took it seriously. I never thought he did. I didn't think it affected him."
He said he had not spoken to Hamilton himself, who had been driving for McLaren at the time.
Hamilton has become a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement - attending a protest in Hyde Park this month.
And Ecclestone weighed in on the Black Lives Matter movement that has seen a number of statues removed - saying the decision to take down figures of controversial historical figures was "stupid".
Instead, he said that students should be shown the statues to understand what wrongs had been done in history.
"So they grow up not having to think about these things. I think it's completely stupid taking all these statues down," Ecclestone said.
Protests have been held across the UK in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, with the statue of slave trader Edward Colston pulled down in Bristol.
His comments come after Hamilton earlier opened up about his lifetime of racial abuse.
"For me, and so many others around the world, seeing George Floyd's murder triggered a sense of deep pain, anguish and frustration," Hamilton said.
"As a nation, we're quick to condemn monkey noises and bananas thrown at black footballers, but when it comes to addressing structural racial issues, the people in power stay silent.
"Injustice prevails when you remain neutral."
And he referred to F1 as a "white dominated sport" as the #WeRaceAsOne initiative was launched.
But Ecclestone said that while it was an "important issue", no one had been "bothered" before.
"They're too busy trying to win races or find sponsors or something," he said.
Ecclestone was born the son of a fisherman in Suffolk in 1930 and after WWII got his first job at a gasworks testing gas purity.
His first involvement in motorsport was trading spare parts for motorcycles before he branched into car racing in 1949, driving Formula 3 series cars - but following an accident he withdrew from racing cars himself.
After making successful investments in property he returned to motorsport in a management role making his first entry into Formula 1 and was involved in team ownership until 1978 when he formed the Constructors Association in 1974 and became its chief executive four years later.
Ecclestone finally sold the commercial rights Formula 1 to Liberty Media in January 2017 following approval from the sport's governing body.
And the businessman has previously made headlines for making other shocking statements.
In 2009, he apologised after praising Adolf Hitler for being "able to get things done".
He also said women should dress in white "like all other domestic appliances."
The billionaire has also said he would take a bullet for Vladimir Putin, saying the Russian leader was a "good guy".
Over the course he has had three marriages: to Ivy Bamford, model Slavica Radic and his current wife Fabiana Flosi.
The couple are now expecting their first child together.
They are currently self-isolating at their home in Sao Paulo, Brazil, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.
Originally published as 'Black people more racist than white'