'Proud' Lewis Hamilton insists slave trader's statue 'should stay in the river'

Formula One star Lewis Hamilton says the statue of slave trader Edward Colston should stay in the river after Black Lives Matter protesters tore down it down in Bristol.

Colston earned his wealth by transporting over 80,000 women, men and children from Africa to America as part of the English Royal African Company and left much of his estate to the city of Bristol when he died in 1721.

A statue in his honour was erected in 1895 and there have been numerous attempts to have it removed before protesters took matters into their own hands on Sunday.

Hamilton, the only black driver in F1, has called on his fellow drivers to do more in tackling and speaking out against racism and the Englishman said he was proud to see the statue toppled.

‘If those people hadn’t taken down that statue honouring a racist slave trader, it would never have been removed,’ he said.

‘There’s talks of it going into a museum. That man’s statue should stay in the river just like the 20,000 African souls who died on the journey here and were thrown into the sea, with no burial or memorial.

‘He stole them from their families, their country and he must not be celebrated. It should be replaced with a memorial for all those he sold, all those that lost their lives.’

‘Edward Colston was a monster who bought, sold, and traded Africans, human beings, and forced them into slavery until they died,’ Hamilton continued on Instagram.

‘Nobody who did this should be honored. It was/is terrorism. Now. Then. ⁣

‘He never should’ve had a statue. I’m proud of the activists and organizers in Bristol, in the United Kingdom, who tore this down.

‘TEAR THEM ALL DOWN. Everywhere. ⁣I support this.’

F1’s chief Ross Brawn backed Hamilton’s statements, saying: ‘Lewis is a great ambassador for the sport, his comments are very valid and we support him completely.’

Hamilton has regularly used his platform to speak out on racism and was one of the first major sports stars to insist events needed to be stopped amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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