Four people, said to be in the IT department of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Formula One team, were fired in August after racially abusing a co-worker, according to The Sun. The firings were upheld on appeal last week.
From The Sun:
Bosses heard how the disgraced employees — thought to be based in the IT department — had used racist slurs in the smoking area.
One colleague was allegedly called a “Muslim terrorist fuck.”
Then, during Ramadan, a poll was put up in a staff area on when the man would “break” the religious fast.
It is understood that workers guessed dates and put their names next to them.
A source said: “This was a really horrible case of racist bullying.
“They had been picking on one Muslim guy for years. It all came to light when they pinned up the poll. The guys who were sacked had all signed and dated it. It’s outrageous, especially with Lewis being so outspoken about racism.
Three other staffers were disciplined “for breaching the team’s diversity and equality policy,” according to The Guardian.
Hamilton is Formula One’s first and (still) only black driver, and has been a vocal opponent of racism. Per The Guardian:
After racist taunts aimed at England footballers in Montenegro in March, the world champion unequivocally condemned it before the Bahrain Grand Prix. “It is crazy to think that at this time in the world, racism is still such a prominent thing,” he said. “It is really there, all around the world, and a real issue, which is sad to see. It doesn’t seem like it is going to migrate much over the next few years.”
Hamilton’s team issued a statement.
Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd confirms that four individuals were dismissed from the company on 2 August 2019. These dismissals followed an internal investigation that confirmed breaches of our diversity and equality policy. We condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms and acted immediately upon the complaint. We value the diversity of our employees and it is a source of strength for our team. Our working environment is based on appreciation and mutual respect.