Lewis Hamilton victim of racist abuse online after British GP victory | Black lives matter
Formula 1 star victim of racist abuse on social media after record-breaking eighth British Grand Prix victory.
Racing star Lewis Hamilton has been the target of racist abuse online after winning the British Grand Prix this weekend.
The seven-time world champion celebrated his record-breaking eighth British Grand Prix victory at Silverstone on Sunday after defending himself from a 10-second penalty for a first-round collision that resulted in his being hospitalized. title rival Max Verstappen.
Hamilton, 36, was targeted online hours after the victory, with racist messages including monkey emojis sent in response to a post from his Mercedes team on Instagram.
The abuse came amid widespread calls for social media companies to take stronger action to control abuse on their platforms following a series of incidents involving racist abuse against sports figures prominent in recent weeks.
In a joint statement, Mercedes, Formula 1 and the FIA motorsport governing body condemned Hamilton’s abuses “in the strongest possible terms” and called for penalties for those responsible.
“These people have no place in our sport and we urge those responsible to be held accountable for their actions,” the statement said.
“Formula 1, the FIA, the drivers and the teams are all striving to create a more diverse and inclusive sport and such unacceptable cases of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.”
Joint statement from Formula 1, the FIA and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team:
During and after yesterday’s British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was the victim of multiple racist abuse on social media following a racing collision.
– F1 Media (@ F1Media) July 19, 2021
Social media giant Facebook said on Monday it had deleted several comments directed at Hamilton on Instagram.
“The racist abuse directed at Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable and we have removed a number of comments from Instagram,” a spokesperson for Instagram owner Facebook said in a statement. .
Hamilton is the only black driver in Formula 1.
He has been a strong advocate for social justice and supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
He said ahead of the race he was inspired by the response of English football players to racist abuse after several black stars were targeted online following the national team’s loss on penalties to Italy in of the European Championship final on July 11.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with social media companies last week to urge them to step up the fight against hate online following the abuses, which targeted Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.
But Johnson and other ministers have been accused of hypocrisy for failing to condemn those who booed players at the start of the tournament for their ‘kneeling’ anti-racist protest.
Racial abuse directed at the trio of England players has also sparked a nationwide police investigation and conviction.