June 26, 2020 / 6:24 PM / 11 days ago

Motor racing-Formula One distances itself from Ecclestone racism comments

June 26 (Reuters) - Formula One on Friday distanced itself from comments by the sport’s former CEO Bernie Ecclestone that Black people were often more racist than white people.

“In lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what white people are,” Ecclestone said in an interview with CNN.

“At a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone’s comments that have no place in Formula 1 or society,” Formula One said in a statement.

“Mr Ecclestone has played no role in Formula 1 since he left our organisation in 2017, his title Chairman Emeritus, being honorific expired, in January 2020.”

Six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton said this month he was “completely overcome with rage” as he urged people to speak out against racism.

Hamilton criticised his sport for its silence over the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis last month after a white U.S. police officer knelt on his neck.

“I’m surprised that (racism) concerns him (Hamilton) even… I’m really unhappy if he took it seriously,” Ecclestone said.

“I’m surprised if anyone in Formula 1, certainly the teams and the people like the promoters, have any concern about (racism).”

Ecclestone was replaced as chief executive of Formula One in 2017 after nearly four decades in charge.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond

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