It Feels Like Mercedes Pressured Valtteri Bottas To Kneel – Finnish MP

The Finnish politician said he is glad that Kimi Raikkonen hasn’t been taking a knee.

Earlier this week, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas posted a tweet hitting out at the disparity in the prize money for men and women competing in the Ronde van Vlaanderen bike race.

“It’s not about the money, but about the equality. Don’t men and women work equally hard to try and win?” Bottas posted.

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Many people on Twitter praised Bottas for trying to be a voice for positive change in sport, but not everyone was impressed with the gesture.

Jani Makela, a member of the Finnish parliament, accused Valtteri Bottas of “moral posing” and said “Keep kneeling. Maybe you’ll start to realise.”

Finland’s Iltalehti newspaper reached out to Makela for clarification.

He explained that the basic point of a market economy is that sports and events attracting bigger audiences, more sponsorship dollars and more media coverage make more money, so participants are therefore paid more.

Continuing, he said: “That’s why I wonder how a person who earns millions in such an industry would not understand this.

“I think it was more about moral posing,” Makela added.

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With regards to his ambiguous remark about Bottas taking a knee, Makela said: “I personally do not think we should start mixing up sports and politics and American matters in this way, which are not related to Finland or Formula 1 in any way.”

He added that he believes “the kneeling is fairly tasteless” and is glad that “Kimi Raikkonen does not also do it.”

However, he noted that Bottas may be feeling internal pressure from Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes F1 Team – both of which have been ardent supporters of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement – to take a knee.

“When you think about how strongly Mercedes has got involved in BLM, it starts to feel like he [Bottas] was pressured into it. He could have left millions unearned if he had not knelt,” Makela concluded.

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