Hamilton praises athlete boycotts in US but will race at Spa

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Lewis Hamilton has praised the decision of some US sports stars to boycott events in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake last weekend.

On Wednesday, the major leagues of basketball, baseball and soccer all saw games postponed as players opted not to compete in response to the incident, which saw Blake shot seven times by police in the state of Wisconsin.

Naturally, that led to questions over whether Hamilton, who has been supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and credited Naomi Osaka's decision to withdraw from a tennis event in New York on Instagram, could skip this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

"Firstly, I think it is incredible what many out there in the States are doing in the sports all the way down to the people that are hosting, commentators for example," he said. "So many people are standing.

"The players are really pushing for change. It's a shame that's what's needed over there to get a reaction.

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"But that is in America, and I don't know whether me doing anything here will particularly have any effect," he added. "We're in Belgium, we're not in the United States.

"I haven't spoken to anyone about it, but I am really proud of so many out there, and I do stand unified with them, trying to do what I can over here.

"I don't really know how us not doing the race - and it would still go on - is a thing, but as I said, I will try to speak to Formula 1 to see what else we can do to continue to raise awareness, continue to help push.

"Naturally, as a sport, we need to be aligned and supporting one another, even if it is a different sport."

Before each race, F1 has gathered all the drivers at the front of the grid for a moment to stand or take a knee in support of racial equality and that is set to continue.

One driver who has knelt beside Hamilton at each race so far is four-time champion, Sebastian Vettel and he was asked if he foresaw a point where F1 drivers and/or teams could boycott an event in protest.

"I think if so, it is something we would decide together," he was quoted by ESPN.

"Generally, we talk about stuff, we talk about things that are going on and are important to us. I think we have grown together as a group of drivers -- the more experienced drivers, the young drivers, we share our opinions.

"I don't think it makes much sense now to go as far as that, as nothing is on the table, and there is no reason to boycott the race. But I'm sure if we are unhappy with something, we will talk about it and take actions accordingly."

Meanwhile, Renault's Daniel Ricciardo added his voice to those bewildered by the continued stories of shootings.

"I think seeing the other athletes take this sort of action shows the extent of what it means to everyone and how far it’s spreading," he said.

“You keep hearing about these incidents. When’s it going to stop? When’s it enough? And it keeps seeming to happen and happen.

"So I think that’s why, in the sporting world, a lot of these athletes are now taking more drastic measures and boycotting and stuff like this.

“It’s getting pretty extreme, but I guess until there’s a change, you’re going to keep banging on the door till it falls down, if that’s the best way to say it."