Ricciardo has no regrets about backing anti-racism push

October 5, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo says he has no regrets about being so publicly outspoken in his support for Formula 1’s current campaign against racism around the globe, saying it would have been far worse to remain silent.

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Supporting the campaign has resulted in a backlash from some quarters on social media, but Ricciardo says he tries to ignore such criticism.

“With the social media stuff, I think in general I try not to read too much,” Motorsport.com reports the Australian as saying this week.

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“You might get 95 per cent of the positive stuff, but it all it takes is that five percent to kind of piss you off.

“They’ll always be there. You’re never going to have a 100 per cent majority,” he pointed out. “It just doesn’t quite exist, unfortunately.”

Ricciardo wore an ‘Equality’ mask at the Russian Grand Prix which he explained had been inspired by Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka.

He said he was happy that the initiatives in F1 spurred on by Lewis Hamilton had meant that the issue of racism was now a widespread talking point which hadn’t been the case before.

“With the racism stuff, a big problem is the silence,” he suggested. “It’s the people that you know are too comfortable in their shell in not speaking up.

“Even just talking about Black Lives Matter – even referencing a black person as a black person, saying these things now out loud – for sure we didn’t really have that much comfort talking about it,” he said. “I didn’t have much comfort talking about it at the start of this year.

“To start talking about things that you’ve never spoken about before, whether it’s on racism, whether it’s on mental health or any of these subjects, it is a little bit daunting.

“You have to be prepared to probably open yourself up for a little bit of criticism, or maybe not 100 per cent positive feedback.

“I think that’s the thing: just encouraging you, if you do have a voice and a positive one, then let it be heard.”

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