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Hamilton to consider taking knee during national anthem at USGP


Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton will consider taking a knee during the national anthem at the United States Grand Prix later this month amid the ongoing protests by a number of professional athletes.

A spate of peaceful protests during the national anthem have taken place at NFL games in recent weeks to protest civil rights abuses in a bid for social change in the United States.

Hamilton has repeatedly stated his support for those protesting via Instagram and Twitter, and told reporters last week in Malaysia: “I really feel like I identify with a lot of those individuals.”

In an interview with British newspaper The Times, Hamilton admitted he was considering whether or not to take action during the national anthem ahead of the race in Austin, Texas on October 22.

“It’s important for everyone to stand up for what they believe in. I don’t plan on being more political but I do feel we should all stand up and stick by what we believe in,” Hamilton said.

“I have not thought about [taking a knee]. I’ve not even thought about that race.

“But of course I will have to start to think about it. What would be right for me to do or do I even need to get involved?

“It’s not my national anthem, but the issue that is in the States – well, it’s not just in the States, it is a global thing. It’s more focused and probably at its worse perhaps in America.

“I think we all do need to stand together.”

Hamilton was reminded about his social media usage by Mercedes over the weekend after uploading a short video to Instagram involving a dog and a doll of President Donald Trump that was later removed.

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

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