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Broncos investor, Lewis Hamilton looking to increase involvement in sports ownership

Seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, who recently invested in the Denver Broncos, said he wants to get more involved with teams to boost Black ownership and equity in sport.

ZANDVOORT - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Lewis Hamilton was asked at the Dutch Grand Prix about reports British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, a co-owner of the Mercedes F1 team, wanted to buy English soccer giants Manchester United.

Ratcliffe, the head of chemical company INEOS, already owns French soccer club OGC Nice and the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team.

“I hope in future to do something with Jim and build with him. I don’t know where that will be or what that will be,” Hamilton told reporters in Zandvoort, adding they had not spoken about United.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes
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Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes Peter J FoxGetty

“I do want to get more and more involved in teams because I really do believe in Black ownership, because there is a lack of it within sports, and Black equity. There is a real lack of that.”

Both Hamilton and Ratcliffe were involved in failed bids this year for United’s Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Hamilton was part of a consortium that included tennis great Serena Williams, who has a stake in the NFL’s Miami Dolphins -- whose Hard Rock stadium this year hosted a Formula One race for the first time.

Hamilton, whose paternal grandparents came to Britain from the Caribbean, is the only Black driver in Formula One and is outspoken about racial issues and increasing diversity within the sport.

NFL ownership

He was announced last month as having joined the ownership group of the National Football League’s Broncos.

The 32 NFL clubs said last March they wanted to increase diversity among the ownership.

“With the Broncos, I really want to try and focus on what I can do in terms of D&I (diversity and inclusion) within the team and within the infrastructure and the surroundings in terms of the stadium and the homes that they end up building when you do eventually get a new stadium,” said Hamilton.

“It’s super exciting the potential that there is there.”

In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine published last month Hamilton said he was becoming an entrepreneur with interests ranging from vegan restaurants to the music industry and fashion.

He referred to American businesswoman Mellody Hobson, the chair of Starbucks who is also a minority owner of the Denver Broncos, as his mentor and “one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met in my life.”