Social Justice Warriors don’t belong in sport and don’t belong in advertising or marketing. Just ask Gillette how it went for them or Colin Kaepernick how it went for him. Both well intended. Both disastrous. I wish Mercedes well as they find out how little anybody cares about corporates’ virtue signalling. May their sales tell the story.

The last thing anybody needs for their enjoyment of a sport is the spoilt millionaire rich kids of an elitist sport crusading about appropriate or acceptable moral behaviour.

“Mercedes has announced that it will race in all-black cars for the 2020 Formula One season as it pledges to fight racism and improve the diversity of its team.

Six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas will also race in black overalls for the season.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has shone a searching light on how much we need new measures and actions in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination,” Mercedes announced in its colour switch from silver.

I know this will come as a huge surprise to Team Mercedes but, like Hollywood stars, nobody cares what you think, chaps. Just build the cars and drive them and let us enjoy your skills. Don’t lecture us about what’s right or wrong. Your governing body has already irreparably damaged the brand by its own virtue signalling in getting rid of the “grid girls”. You should stay off this slippery slope.

Hamilton, who is the only Black world champion in F1, has spoken widely about racism following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. He plans to create a commission to increase diversity in motorsport.

“It is so important that we seize this moment and use it to educate ourselves whether you are an individual, brand or company to make real meaningful changes when it comes to ensuring equality and inclusivity,” Hamilton said

OMG (I think I know what that means and I think it’s what I mean), spare me. This multi-millionaire and very talented superstar sportsman should stick to his knitting. Nobody in their right minds would see the Floyd incident as anything but an outrage, but Black Lives Matter is nothing more than an anarchist group with no clear message other than rioting and disruption, itself an outrage of mega proportions.

Seriously, is this what one of the world’s most elite car manufacturers wants to see its name associated with? Lewis needs to take some sound advice from a straight talker: Just drive the bloody car as fast as you can mate. That’s what you’re good at. Leave the political posturing to the fools already doing it.

“I have personally experienced racism in my life and seen my family and friends experience racism, and I am speaking from the heart when I appeal for change”, Hamilton said

I’m sure Lewis is indeed speaking from the heart and I’m sure he has experienced racism in his life. So what? What does it have to do with Formula 1 or the Mercedes Team?

Evidently, they seem to think it does:

Mercedes said that just three per cent of its workforce identify as belonging to minority ethnic groups, and that only 12 per cent of its employees are women.

“We will not shy away from our weakness in this area, nor from the progress we must still make; our livery is our public pledge to take positive action,” Toto Wolff said.

“We intend to find and attract the very best talents from the broadest possible range of backgrounds, and to create credible pathways for them to reach our sport, in order to build a stronger and more diverse team in the future”

So the current world champions are about to become sexist and racist in their employment policy in the interests of diversity.

Well done Mercedes.

When they start selecting people on racial and gender balance rather than skill, watch them slide down the order. The red cars will be champions in no time.

Is this another Gillette debacle that will play out in the company’s bottom line?

In my view, virtue signalling deserves all it gets.

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Danny
I've worked in media and business for many years and share my views here to generate discussion and debate. I once leaned towards National politically and actually served on an electorate committee once, but the party lost its way and is still lost in the wilderness. Nearly voted Labour once when Roger Douglas was Minister of Finance. I could never see my way clear to voting for NZ First for many reasons but I'm far from committed to one party or one set of views. Years ago I supported Bob Jones and the New Zealand Party and a quest for change and I have voted for Act more than once. Today, politically I don't have a natural home - so I have an open mind.