Racing Pride – a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement which aims to improve inclusivity in all levels of motorsport – has criticised the FIA’s decision to appoint Vitaly Petrov driver steward for this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
“Racing Pride wishes to express its concern at the appointment of Vitaly Petrov as an FIA Driver Steward for this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix in light of his recent, widely reported public comments relating to the #WeRaceAsOne initiative, which were both racist and homophobic in nature,” the group said in a statement.
“Not only do these comments display ignorance relating to inclusion in sport, but we also believe that such comments from an FIA official are incompatible with Article 1.2 of the FIA’s Code of Ethics, which states that ‘participants to the FIA activities’ shall not be discriminated against on the basis of factors including ‘race, skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin’.”
Continuing, Racing Pride said: “A commitment to inclusion is a fundamental principle of good sporting governance.
“However, in order to be effective, such a commitment must extend to all involved in the sport, in any capacity.
“It is essential that those who are appointed to positions of authority within the sport, especially, are sensitive to, and educated in, pertinent issues and correct terminology relating to diverse communities.
The group said it “would be happy to work with the FIA and Formula 1 in providing such education in relation to the LGBTQ+ community, and indeed has already reached out to Formula 1 directly.”
Earlier this week, Lewis Hamilton questioned the FIA’s decision to appoint Vitaly Petrov driver steward for the Portuguese Grand Prix, as the Russian ex-F1 driver recently made a series of controversial comments about the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and gay people.
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