Lewis Hamilton trolls Qatar over gay rights shame with brilliant rainbow helmet

Lewis Hamilton made clear once again his opposition to Qatar's appalling human rights record as he wore a rainbow-coloured helmet during Friday morning's F1's free practice session.

Hamilton said earlier this week that Formula One was "duty bound" to raise awareness of human rights issues in the Middle East country at its first ever grand prix.

Not content with just talking the talk, the Mercedes driver walked the walk by pointedly adding a rainbow flag to his helmet for Friday's free practice session.

The flag is symbol of support for the LGBT community.

Homosexual behaviour is illegal in Qatar and carry a punishment of years in jail, making Hamilton's decision to stand with the LGBTQ+ community an important one.

The British driver received widespread praise on social media for once again drawing attention to such a serious moral and ethical issue.

Racing Pride tweeted: "We applaud @LewisHamilton for adding the rainbow flag to his helmet for this weekend’s #QatarGP. It is a magnificent and powerful gesture of solidarity with our #LGBTQ+ community around the world and is very much appreciated. Thank you, Lewis. #F1 @MercedesAMGF1."

Someone else added: "Lewis Hamilton wearing a rainbow helmet in Qatar. Once again proving he’s a king #QatarGP #F1."

Should more sportsmen and women speak out about human rights issues? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

While a third person commented: "Hamilton rocking the rainbow helmet in Qatar, a country with atrocious LGBT rights, is pure GOAT. What a legend and always good to see sports stars and other celebrities standing up for human rights."

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Hamilton has been vocal about the important of raising human rights issues in Qatar in the lead up to the grand prix weekend.

"We’re aware there are issues in these places that we’re going to," he told reporters on Thursday. "But of course [Qatar] seems to be deemed as one of the worst in this part of the world.

"As sports go to these places, they are duty bound to raise awareness for these issues. These places need scrutiny. Equal rights is a serious issue."

Hamilton added: "I am aware that in this place they are trying to make steps and it can't change overnight."

The Stevenage-born ace then said he wished more sportsmen and women would speak out on the topic.

"One person can only make a certain amount of small difference but together, collectively we can have a bigger impact," he added.

"I have been to a lot of these countries and have been ignorant, been unconscious of some of the problems in some of the places.

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"It's down to whether you decide to educate yourself and hold the sport more accountable and make sure the sport is actually doing something about it when it goes to these places.

"That's why I've tried to raise my voice, but there are far brighter people that are knowledgeable on these issues that are trying to fight them in the background.

"But I still think we can bring a spotlight to it and create that scrutiny and that pressure that can hopefully create change."

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