Lewis Hamilton compares Florida to Saudi Arabia over Don’t Say Gay law

Lewis Hamilton/ a picture of his Pride helmet

Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has spoken out against Florida’s anti-LGBTQ+ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.

Hamilton vowed to stand with the LGBTQ+ community in Florida as he arrived in the state for the Miami Grand Prix, which takes place on Sunday (7 May).

“It’s not good at all,” he said of Florida lawmakers expanding the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, which will now prohibit discussion of LGBTQ+ lives across all school grades.

The 38-year-old told BBC 5 Live: “I stand by those within the community here. I hope they continue to stand firm and push back. I’ll have the rainbow on my helmet. It’s no different to when we were in Saudi.”

Hamilton notably wore a rainbow helmet when he competed in – and won – the inaugural Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in 2021.

Before the race, Hamilton condemned the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws. Under Sharia law in Saudia Arabia, same-sex activity is illegal, with a maximum penalty of death. Being trans is also criminalised.

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“I believe everyone should have equal rights, freedom of speech, freedom of movement,” Hamilton said at the time. “And there’s places where that’s not allowed.”

Photo of Lewis Hamilton wearing a Pride helmet as he celebrates his win at the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia
Lewis Hamilton wore his rainbow-coloured helmet in support of LGBTQ+ rights following his Grand Prix win in Saudi Arabia. (Getty/Dan Mullan)

The Mercedes driver also wore his Pride helmet at the HungarianQatar and Saudi Arabian Grand Prix tournaments in 2021.

In January, F1 announced drivers will require written permission from the sport’s governing body to make “political, religious and personal statements” in a move deemed “deeply unfair”.

Hamilton is the only Black driver in Formula One. In March, former F1 champion Nelson Piquet was fined £780,000 (five million Brazilian reals) for making racist and homophobic comments about him.

Hamilton responded to Piquet’s comments by calling for action to tackle “these archaic mindsets”.