Lewis Hamilton racially abused online after British GP win
Lewis Hamilton has been target by racist abuse online after he won the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton, the seven-times world champion- celebrate his record eighth British Grand Orix victory at Silverstone on Sunday after fighting back from a 10-second penalty for a first-lap collision that ended up with rival Max Verstappen in hospital.
The champ was targetted by racists just hours later, with racist messages including monkey emojis sent as replies to a post by his Mercedes team on Instagram.
The latest in a string of online racist abuse towards sports stars came amid widespread calls for social media to take firmer action on policing abuse on their platforms.
In a joint statement, Mercedes, Formula One and motorsports governing body FIA condemned the abuse of Hamilton “in the strongest possible terms” and sought punishment for those guilty.
“These people have no place in our sport and we urge that those responsible should be held accountable for their actions,” the statement read.
“Formula One, the FIA, the drivers and teams are working to build a more diverse and inclusive sport and such unacceptable instances of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.”
Facebook said on Monday that it had removed several comments directed at Hamilton on Instagram.
“The racist abuse directed at Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable and we’ve removed a number of comments from Instagram,” a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement.
Hamilton is the only Black driver in Formula One.
Boris Johnson met social media firms last week to ask them to step up the fight against online hate in the wake of the abuse, which saw Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka targeted.
But Johnson and other ministers including Priti Patel have been accused of hypocrisy for not condemning those who booed the players at the start of the tournament for their “taking the knee” anti-racism protest.
The racial abuse directed at the trio of English players also prompted a police investigation and country-wide condemnation.
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