English Formula One racecar champion Lewis Hamilton has apologized after criticizing his toddler nephew for wearing a costume princess dress on Christmas.
In a since deleted Instagram video that remained available on the website of the U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail on Sunday, Hamilton says in a joking tone, “I’m so sad right now — look at my nephew.” Turning the camera from himself to show the young boy in a purple and magenta dress, waving a wand, he asks, “Why are you wearing a princess dress?” As the boy chuckles, Hamilton asks, “Is this what you got for Christmas?” When the toddler begins laughing and nodding, the racing champ asks, “Why did you ask for a princess dress for Christmas?” The boy then smiles and tries to answer but Hamilton speaks over him: “Boys don’t wear princess dresses!”
After being taken to task on social media, Hamilton, who turns 33 on Jan. 7, apologized in three Dec. 26 posts that he has since taken down. He told his 52.3 million Twitter followers, “Yesterday I was playing around with my nephew and realised that my words were inappropriate so I removed the post. I meant no harm and did not mean to offend anyone at all. I love that my nephew feels free to express himself as we all should. My deepest apologies for my behaviour as I realise it is really not acceptable for anyone, no matter where you are from, to marginalise or stereotype anyone. I have always been in support of anyone living their life exactly how they wish and I hope I can be forgiven for this lapse in judgement.”
Hamilton, who has two half-sisters and a half-brother, fellow racing pro Nicolas Hamilton, has wiped all posts from his Instagram account, where he has 5.7 million followers.