Formula 1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton says he has no plans to take a knee in protest during the United States Grand Prix.
A number of athletes across various sporting disciplines in the United States have been kneeling - instead of standing - during the national anthem, in protest over racial discrimination and police brutality.
This method of protest, kickstarted by now-unemployed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year, recently re-emerged as a major topic of national conversation when Donald Trump, the President of United States, publicly criticised those choosing to take a knee.
A few weeks back, British racer Hamilton had spoken out in defence of those protesting and added that, given the recent events, he would consider kneeling in solidarity during Formula 1's sole US-based event of the year – the race at Austin's Circuit of the Americas.
But while he reiterated his support for the movement in the immediate build-up to the US GP, Hamilton has now clarified he is not currently planning to protest.
“I don’t really have a position and I don’t have any plans,” he said. “Of course, there has been a lot of mention of it – not of the kneeling, but just of the whole situation here in America.
“I know black and white people that live here in America, so I get quite a view of what’s happening here in the States and opinions from Americans here about the movement.
“I respect it highly, and I found that the movement that Kaepernick started is awesome and I’m very much in support of it.
“But I’m here to win and that’s the top of my priorities at the moment and I’m not really focused on anything else at the moment.”
Hamilton, who leads nearest rival Sebastian Vettel by 59 points in the championship standings and could possibly secure his fourth F1 title in Austin, said he didn't want to be distracted from his main goal.
“As I said, I’m here to win. That’s my focus. I don’t really plan on allowing all the BS that’s surrounding the topic pull me down in my strive to winning this world title.
“I’ve worked hard to be where I am today and, whilst I do have opinions and feelings towards the whole situation, as I’ve said, at the moment, no plans on doing anything.”