Lewis Hamilton – today one of the most famous, richest and popular athletes in the world – revealed how the worst days of his life were his school years, a time in which he was bullied and racially abused.
Mercedes’ seven-time Formula 1 World Champion – now 38 years old and hails from a working-class family originally based in Stevenage, UK – revealed his childhood torment during an interview with Jay Shetty on his podcast On Purpose which aired today.
Hamilton recalled: “School for me was the most traumatizing and most difficult part of my life. I was already being bullied at the age of six. At that particular school, I was one of three kids of colour [they were] just bigger, stronger, bullying kids were throwing me around a lot of the time.
“The constant jabs, the things that are either thrown at you, like bananas, or people that would use the N-word just so relaxed. People calling you half-caste and not knowing where you fit in. That for me was difficult.
“In my [high] school there were six or seven black kids out of 1200 kids and three of us were put outside the headmasters’ office all the time. The headmaster just had it out for us – and particularly me,” lamented the Briton.
“I felt the system was up against me and I was swimming against the tide. There were a lot of things I suppressed. I didn’t feel I could go home and tell my parents that these kids kept calling me the n-word, or I got bullied or beaten up at school today, I didn’t want my dad to think I was not strong,” revealed Hamilton.
Racism still remains the elephant in the room of society
Meanwhile, in light of his latest revelations, the harsh reality, is that Hamilton may have escaped the barbarity of racial abuse as a youth but it still follows him on social media; we have a ban on our platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Disqus) when it comes to racism, unfortunately, weekly we blovk followers who almost always and only emerge when we share posts on Facebook related to Lewis.
Racism continues to be the elephant in the room, from east to west, local and global, and Hamilton speaking out about his experiences highlights the work that still has to be done in every sphere of modern life to root it out.
Hamilton himself started a racial awareness campaign on the F1 scene in recent years, wearing t-shirts decrying the scourge while taking a knee at Grands Prix in 2020 and 2021.
On the upside, the reality is the kid who was bullied back in those days is today one of the most recognisable sportsmen on the planet, worth around $300-milllion.
At the 2023 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on 3 March, Hamilton will make his 311th F1, while 103 victories makes him the most successful driver in the sport’s history, making one wonder: where are those bullies today?