Last Saturday morning, millions of sports fans went on Twitter and expressed this exact thought: "When did all of you become F1 fans?" Formula One Racing has always been one of the world's most popular sports despite its lack of coverage, including here in the United States. But sometimes, all it takes is one person to unite sports fans to watch an event as we did with last weekend's Driver's World Championship.
Lewis Hamilton's Importance Is Bigger Than Sports
A seven-time Driver's World Championship winner, Lewis Hamilton is to Formula One what Michael Jordan was to the NBA. He is the greatest at what he does and has transcended his sport in ways only MJ and a few other athletes can understand. As millions of fans watched this year's Driver's World Championship, their exposure to Hamilton's dominance, even before the race's controversial ending, was imbued with a greater understanding as to why he's special in the first place.
Hamilton represents greater hope and expansion of the Black and Brown experience. For many of us, it's already mind-boggling that our own would participate in an activity such as F1 driving, but to achieve the level of success he has? Without cutting corners and sacrificing his identity as a black person who's embraced his blackness in every way possible? It only amplifies the battery charging in the back of our communities, who want to continue to change the narrative every day.
This is also important because of our collective worldview. Millions of Black and brown people are and will remain limited in knowing how great our people are in their different career paths. We’re fed a diet of success stories through basketball, football, and entertainment, even if these ingredients weren't always healthy for our imagination.
But Hamilton's presence alongside the Williams sisters, Tiger Woods, Simone Biles, and Bubba Wallace is a huge reminder that it's okay to eat differently. The ability to share similarities in our lifestyles and upbringings while also being yourself is essential for everyone involved and proves versatility is real. For the rest of his life, Hamilton has made his biggest impact by establishing you can't put a ceiling on what any Black or brown person chooses to do. And so far, he's doing a fantastic job.