World News – UA – LGBTQ Racing Pride calls on F1 over Petrov Steward’s appointment


LGBTQ Racing Pride organization condemns decision to appoint Vitaly Petrov as F1 race commissioner in Portugal in light of his views on racism and homosexuality

Racing Pride, an organization promoting LGBTQ inclusiveness within the motorsport industry, has decided to ‘voice its concern’ over the decision to invite Vitaly Petrov to the FIA ​​driver panel for the Portuguese Grand Prix this weekend in Portimao

The Russian driver competed in 64 grand prix during a three-season stint in F1 with Renault and Caterham between 2010 and 2012, while also being a podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

However, his appointment as commissioner in Portugal this weekend raised eyebrows following an interview with Russian sports publication Championat, in which he expressed critical views on Lewis Hamiton’s encouragement to other F1 drivers to kneel before the races in solidarity with the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement

In addition to these views, Petrov went on to compare it to the expression of LGBTQ opinions, saying, “What if one of the drivers is posing as gay? Are they going to come out with the rainbow flag and make everyone go gay or something like that? « 

Hamilton himself saying he was ‘surprised’ at Petrov’s appointment following the comments given F1’s vocal promotion for diversity and inclusion through his #WeRaceAsOne initiative, Racing Pride has added his voice to dissent

« As a competitor in any sport you want to know that you will receive fair, equal and impartial treatment, that you will not be discriminated against because of who you are and more than that. , that you are welcome in sport, ”said Richard Morris, racing driver and co-founder of Racing Pride

« This is why it is essential that people in positions of authority in any sport are educated in inclusive principles, behavior and language

« This is an area where motorsport as a whole could clearly do more, and Racing Pride would be delighted to work constructively with Formula 1 and the FIA ​​to put this education and awareness in place. »

Russia has long held strongly conservative views on homosexuality, with restricted rights – including lack of recognition of same-sex unions – and evidence of widespread social discrimination It is also now prohibited to distribute materials intended to promote LGBTQ relations

As a gay man with an eye on the world, negative opinions targeted against myself and my peers – directly or in general – are something that becomes normal, unfortunately, and as you design your own way. ‘answering them – whether through action, thick skin or just a little more aware that discrimination is rampant – it’s hard to read the comments and not feel them personally

As a gay man working in the motorsport industry – or rather as a person working in the motorsport industry – I am honored to say that I have never once encountered outright discrimination and simple, although I actively steer away from comment threads for a reason

Indeed, it is very rare that these two very important worlds meet head-on, which is why I am writing this editor’s note as a person who has a very different perspective than the most

LGBTQ representation in motorsport is not vast in my own knowledge, but while my little black book is full of contacts, that doesn’t mean I know everyone If anything, I take it as « we’re probably here, we’re definitely queer and we’re surrounded by tolerance »

Petrov’s comments – not just about LGBTQ – bothers me because, while I respect his right to have his own opinions, to exploit them in such a simplistic and sweeping generalization is to belittle the difficulties experienced by those who are harshly discriminating

But my concern is not so much for him here, but more for F1 itself which has the power to hire and fire when it comes to roles like this Although I would disapprove of this meeting every year in light of this interview, the storm caused by his comments serves to diminish efforts to promote diversity and inclusiveness in F1 through the #WeRaceaAsOne campaign.

I was really moved by F1’s push to look outside the bubble it creates around itself and not be limited to motorsport, so seeing it sitting on the fence ( at the time of writing) on ​​Petrov is a mixed message which I feel risks losing much of his hard work.Admittedly, it should be noted here that Petrov is nominated by the FIA ​​rather than F1 / Liberty itself , but the initiative itself is expressed as a

On a personal level, I am of the opinion that – using a clumsy metaphor – you will have a hard time convincing someone that the sky is blue if they are adamant that it is green and the environment of Petrov in Russia certainly does not promote tolerance in this area particular area, I don’t expect him to post a statement retracting his opinions. Nor am I terribly bothered if he does

That’s why I’m proud (pun intended) of organizations like Racing Pride that provide a perspective and outlet for LGBTQ representation in motorsport, because even though you might think it don’t ask for one, this ensures that everyone can and will be heard when needed

So while this might come across as a throwaway comment from the outside in, it got me thinking for a while because it touches on something that is so important to me and this is from someone who has heard all the insults and slurs over the years

F1 has positioned itself to be better than that, so it would be heartwarming if it showed courage and act, rather than looking away when its own policies are tested

And before someone says I’m a « snowflake », to borrow a quote, a lot of snowflakes can still cause an avalanche…

Racing Pride would like to express its concern over the appointment of Vitaly Petrov as the FIA ​​Steward Driver for this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix in light of his recent widely circulated public comments regarding the initiative # WeRaceAsOne, who were both racist and homophobic in nature

Not only do these comments show ignorance about inclusion in sport, but we also believe that such comments from an FIA official are incompatible with Article 12 of the FIA ​​Code of Ethics, which states that « participants in FIA activities » must not be discriminated against on the basis of factors such as « race, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin »

Racing Pride welcomes the recent launch by Formula 1 of the #WeRaceAsOne initiative and the position of FIA President Jean Todt, stated in the foreword to the FIA ​​Code of Ethics, that «  The FIA ​​is a truly diverse and multicultural organization, and we, the FIA ​​community, must all adopt the same ethical principles’

A commitment to inclusion is a fundamental principle of good sport governance However, to be effective, such a commitment must extend to all those involved in sport, in whatever capacity.

It is essential that those appointed to positions of authority in sport, in particular, are sensitive and educated on relevant issues and correct terminology regarding the various communities

Racing Pride would be happy to work with the FIA ​​and Formula 1 to provide such education in relation to the LGBTQ community, and indeed has already contacted Formula 1 directly We hope to work alongside all organizations and stakeholders sports that share our commitment to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all

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Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton, Vitaly Petrov, International Automobile Federation, Portuguese Grand Prix

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