Lewis Hamilton is promoting LGBTQ+ rights on his Qatar Grand Prix race helmet, swapping his usual message “Still I Rise” for the pride flag with the message “We Stand Together.”
Formula One’s next two races are in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, two countries human rights groups have said use the league to distract from their human rights abuses. Per the Human Dignity Trust, Qatar’s penal code criminalizes same-sex relationships, and since the country operates Sharia courts, “it is technically possible for men who engage in same-sex intimacy to be sentenced to death.”
“I do feel that we’re aware there are issues in these places that we’re going to, as there are all around the world,” Hamilton said in a press conference ahead of the race weekend, per ESPN. “But of course [Qatar] seems to be deemed as one of the worst in this part of the world. I do think as the sports go to these places, they are the duty-bound to raise awareness for these issues.
“These places need scrutiny from the media to speak about these things. Equal rights is a serious issue.”
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