Silverstone, Aug 7 : Ferrari Formula One driver Charles Leclerc has hit out at people for calling him racist following his decision to not take a knee alongside fellow racers before Grand Prix races.
Drivers have been given the option to kneel before races this season as part of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and Leclerc was part of the seven who chose against doing so in the last race in Silverstone. Leclerc, however, stated that not taking a knee doesn't mean a person is racist.
"I very sad to see how some people manipulate my words to make headlines making me sound like a racist. I am not racist and I absolutely hate racism. Racism is disgusting," Leclerc wrote on his Twitter handle.
"Stop putting me in the same group as these disgusting people that are discriminating others because of their skin colour, religion or gender. I'm not part of them and I never will. I've always been respectful to everyone and that should be the standard in today's world.
"And to whoever is using my image to promote their wrong ideas, please stop. I'm not into politics and I don't want to be involved in that," he added.
Ahead of the 70th anniversary GP at Silverstone, Leclerc was asked about his tweets and he stated that he has become tired of people judging him and wanted to clear the air regarding his stance with respect to not kneeling.
"Because I just don't want to be judged anymore," Leclerc told reporters via videoconference as per ESPN. "As I've said many times, I'm active on social media and I don't accept to be called the way I've been called in the last few weeks, negatively obviously, just because of not kneeling.
"I wanted to make a straightforward tweet just to express my feelings, and that's it," he added.