Lewis Hamilton

UPDATED: Hamilton apologises for anti-vax post

Lewis Hamilton

UPDATED: Six-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has apologised after sharing a post with an anti-vaccine message on Instagram.

The post, which originated from internet personality King Bach, is a video of an interview with Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates discussing vaccine trials for COVID-19 with the caption “I remember when I told my first lie”, followed by the crying-laughing emoji.

Hamilton shared the post with his 18.3 million Instagram followers.

After receiving criticism for what many saw as him endorsing an anti-vaccine stance, Hamilton responded with a follow-up wherein he admitted he had made a mistake.

“Hi guys. I’ve noticed some comments on my earlier post around the coronavirus vaccine, and want to clarify my thoughts on it, as I understand why they might have been misinterpreted,” he wrote.

“Firstly, I hadn’t actually seen the comment attached so that is totally my fault and I have a lot of respect for the charity work Bill Gates does.

“I also want to be clear that I’m not against a vaccine and no doubt it will be important in the fight against the coronavirus, and I’m hopeful for its development to help save lives.

“However after watching the video, I felt it showed that there is still a lot of uncertainty about the side effects most importantly and how it is going to be funded.

“I may not always get my posting right, I’m only human but I’m learning as we go. Sending you my positivity.”

A prolific user of social media, Hamilton has previously been applauded for using his platform to speak out on issues of race and inequality, but has also faced criticism in the past.

In December 2017, he came under fire for posting a video in which he criticised his young nephew for wearing a princess dress. He subsequently apologised, describing his actions as a “lapse in judgement”.