Hamilton saddened, hurt by Ecclestone’s racism comments
PARIS » Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has criticized “ignorant and uneducated” comments by former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.
Hamilton, a six-time world champion and the only Black driver in F1, was shocked by Ecclestone’s claim during an interview with broadcaster CNN on Friday that “in lots of cases, Black people are more racist” than white people.
“Damn, I just don’t even know where to start on this one ... so sad and disappointing to read these comments,” Hamilton posted on Instagram. “This is exactly what is wrong - ignorant and uneducated comments which show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen.”
Ecclestone made his assertion when he was asked his opinion on Hamilton setting up a commission to increase diversity in motorsport.
“I don’t think it’s going to do anything bad or good for Formula One. It will just make people think, which is more important,”
Most of the races at Disney will be for seeding. Milwaukee cannot finish lower than No. 2 in the East and Toronto needs only one win to be assured of a top-four seed. The West can still see some shakeups, with four games separating second place from sixth place and only 2 ½ games separating fourth place from seventh.
HEAT CHECK » Miami had a league-high eight games remaining against the eight teams that didn’t qualify for the Disney restart.
Now the Heat will have a fight on their hands just to hang onto the No. 4 spot in the East.
Miami plays Boston, Denver, Indiana twice, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Toronto and Phoenix in the seeding games. That schedule ranks harder than Indiana’s or Philadelphia’s — the Pacers and 76ers both will head to Disney two games behind the Heat in the East standings.
Orlando and the Lakers both saw seven games against the eight Disneynon-qualifiers canceled, tied for second-most in the league behind Miami. Memphis had the fewest such games lost, with just one — a matchup against New York.
HOME ON THE ROAD » All 22 teams will be staying at the Disney campus for the rest of their seasons. Yes, that includes the Orlando Magic — whose home arena is about 20 miles from Disney World.
The Magic simply see it as doing their part to make the restart happen.
“We appreciate the leadership of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, our longtime partner, Disney, and our local leaders in this unprecedented time,” Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “We look forward to providing assistance as needed in restarting the NBA season in Orlando, while using our collective platform to drive meaningful social impact.”
SPEAKING OF ROAD » Philadelphia was the NBA’s best home team this season, going 29-2 — on pace to be the second-best home record in a season in franchise history. The 1949-50 Syracuse Nationals were better, going 36-2 at the State Fair Coliseum in the franchise’s inaugural season. Problem is, the 76ers won’t be playing in Philly again until next season.
Philadelphia went just 10-24 on the road in the regular season, the secondworst road mark of the 22 teams that will be playing at Disney. Only Washington (8-24) was worse.
If the 76ers are going to go deep in these playoffs, they’ll need to figure out how to win without the raucous Wells Fargo Center advantage.
THEY WILL BE MISSED » Milwaukee has the NBA’s best record, and one of the reasons the Bucks hold that mark right now is because of
Ecclestone replied. “People ought to think a little bit and say ‘what the hell’, somebody’s not the same as white people and that Black people should think the same about white people. Because I think in lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what white people are.”
Challenged to give evidence, Ecclestone replied: “Things over the years I’ve noticed and there’s no need for it.”
Hamilton recently attended a Black Lives Matter march in London. He has spoken widely about racism in recent weeks after saying he felt “so much anger, sadness and disbelief” following the killing of George Floyd - a handcuffed and unarmed Black man - by a police officer in Minneapolis last month.
“Lewis is a little bit special. First he’s very, very, very talented as a driver and he seems to be now extremely talented when he’s standing up making speeches,” Ecclestone said. “This last campaign he’s doing for the Black people is wonderful. He’s doing a great job and it’s people (who are) easily recognizable that people listen to.”
how good they were against the eight teams (Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Atlanta, New York, Minnesota and Golden State) that didn’t qualify for the Disney restart.
The Bucks were 22-0 against those eight teams — one of three NBA teams to go unbeaten against that group. Oklahoma City was 15-0 and the Lakers were 120. Toronto and Boston were both 19-1 and Utah was 15-1.
Only one remaining team had a losing record against those eight clubs: San Antonio went 7-8.
LAKER BREAK » The schedule means that the Lakers won’t play a back-to-backto-back after all.
The Lakers would have played home games on April 7, 8 and 9 against Golden State, Chicago and the Clippers — the last of those coming because a game that was scheduled to be played shortly after Kobe Bryant’s death was moved until later in the season.
HELLO, AGAIN » For 26 players on the rosters of the 22 teams, Disney is going to look familiar. They played there in college.
The Disney campus plays host to the Orlando Invitational over Thanksgiving, and some alumni of that event are headed back there now for NBA contests. Among them: Heat teammates Jimmy Butler (Marquette, 2009) and Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga, 2012), Portland’s Zach Collins (Gonzaga, 2016), Washington’s Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga, 2016), Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton (Texas A&M, 2010), Indiana’s Edmond Sumner (Xavier, 2015), Phoenix’s Kelly Oubre Jr. (Kansas, 2014) and Boston’s Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State, 2013).
And lest we forget, the Lopez brothers — Milwaukee teammates Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez — are huge Disney fans, and have made their affinity for the place very well-known in recent weeks.
NO 3’S RECORD » For the first time in eight seasons, the league record for total 3-pointers made won’t get broken. It was on pace to be smashed.
NBA teams have combined for 23,560 3-pointers made so far this season, which is already the fourthmost of any season in league history. The league was on pace for 29,844 3-pointers, which is 1,889 more than the record of 27,955 set last season.
STATE OF BASKETBALL » Florida — the Sunshine State — will be the epicenter of basketball this summer.
While the NBA is headed to Disney, the WNBA season is also scheduled to begin next month and be headquartered in Bradenton, Florida. That’s about 100 miles from where the NBA will be playing. The WNBA plan is for its players to be housed at the IMG Academy, with games to be played at the nearby Feld Entertainment Center.
Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management, left, talks to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain in Sakhir, Bahrain on April 16, 2015. Hamilton has criticized “ignorant and uneducated” comments by Ecclestone.
LIVERPOOL CONDEMNS FAN BEHAVIOR IN TITLE CELEBRATIONS » English champion Liverpool has condemned the behavior of some fans who gathered in the city to celebrate the club’s Premier League title win after a 30year wait.
Merseyside Police issued a dispersal order for Liverpool city center on Friday night. This allowed police to disperse crowds who gathered on the Pier Head, after part of the Liver Building caught fire amid the
wild celebrations despite the coronavirus pandemic.
DODGERS’ TOLES JAILED IN FLORIDA ON TRESPASS CHARGE » Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles was in jail on a trespassing charge.
The 28-year-old player was detained this week at the airport in Key West, Florida, by a Monroe County sheriff deputy.
A report by the sheriff’s office said Toles was found sleeping behind a Federal
Express building at the airport and refused to move after several warnings by deputies that he had to leave or be arrested.
Jail records show Toles appeared to be homeless when arrested Monday on the misdemeanor charge of trespassing property. His bond was set at $500 but he remained jailed and is scheduled for arraignment Thursday.
“We are unable to comment,” team spokesman Joe Jareck said Saturday.
BELMONT PARK BARN UNDER PRECAUTIONARY QUARANTINE » A barn at Belmont Park has been placed under a precautionary quarantine because of a suspected case of equine herpesvirus Type 1.
New York Racing Association officials say a 4-yearold colt trained by Chris Englehart exhibited fever and neurological symptoms associated with EHV-1 and is being treated by a private veterinarian. The colt named Freudnme last raced at Finger Lakes in upstate New York in June 2019.
EHV-1 can cause upper respiratory infection in young horses. If a number of horses are housed together, they can become sick and then recover uneventfully. However, equine herpesvirus-1 can also cause a severe neurological disease that affects a horse’s brain and spinal cord, and may result in paralysis and death.
FORMER NFL, COLLEGE COACH KRUEGER DIES AT 90 » Phil Krueger, who helped build a dominant defense as an assistant for 1967 national champion Southern California and later became part of the first coaching staff in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ history, has died. He was 90.
Krueger died at his home, his family said.
Skilled in all phases of the game, Krueger coached offense, defense and special teams during more than three decades in the NFL and college. He was the head coach at Fresno State and Utah State, going 31-22, and an assistant at Illinois.
Krueger moved from the field to Tampa Bay’s front office and spent 10 years as an executive, known for his skill in negotiating contracts. He was hired as the Buccaneers’ first general manager in 1991.