Tuesday evening saw an outpouring of emotion around the world as police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd at his trial in Minnesota.
Reigning Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was among many from the world of sport to react to the verdict.
Hamilton paid tribute to Floyd on Instagram after Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“JUSTICE for George! The emotions I feel right now are hard to describe,” wrote Hamilton in response to the news that Chauvin had been sentenced to a maximum term of 75 years in jail. “Derek Chauvin has been found guilty.”
Sharing his thoughts alongside an image of a piece of art depicting Floyd, Hamilton told his almost 22 million followers that the guilty verdicts marked “a new dawn in the fight for racial justice”.
“This is the first time that a white officer has been convicted for killing a black man in Minnesota. This is monumental, George’s death is not in vain…The result of the Derek Chauvin trial today is the right one. Convicting him of all three charges marks a new dawn in the fight for racial justice.”
In the aftermath of Floyd’s death in May last year, Hamilton was a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. The 36-year-old now takes a knee on the grid before every race and wears anti-racism slogans while competing. He stated his relief at the fact that the trial was now over.
“This trial was an opportunity for the justice system to hold Derek Chauvin accountable for his actions when he took the life of George Floyd. We can now breathe a collective sigh of relief that the right decision has been met, and that justice has been served.
“Today’s outcome is a sombre victory for George and his family, but it shows that our efforts to promote justice are not in vain. Black voices have been heard and action is happening. When we stand together, we can make a difference.”
Long-time social activist Hamilton, though, believes the fight for equality is far from over – declaring that there is much still to be done in the fight towards equality.
“But this is just one step on the path towards a more equal society. Since George’s death, so many other Black people have died at the hands of the police and we must ensure the momentum of today continues. The fight isn’t over, and there is more to be done, but we can consider today a glimmer of hope.
“My thoughts and prayers are with George’s family. I hope they will feel a sense of peace from this result,” concluded Hamilton.
One of many high-profile sporting figures to use their platform to bring focus to the Black Lives Movement, Hamilton recognises that there is still much work to do. However, the elation with which Tuesday’s verdict was greeted around the world shows just how big of a moment it was.