Sports

Hamilton subject to racist abuse on social media

Lewis Hamilton was subjected to racist abuse online after winning Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion celebrated a record eighth win at the race after fighting back from a 10-second penalty for a first-lap collision that sent title rival Max Verstappen to hospital.

Sky Sports reported Hamilton, 36, was targeted online hours after the victory, with racist messages including monkey emojis sent as replies to a post by his Mercedes team on Instagram.

On Monday morning, Mercedes, F1 and the sport’s governing body, the FIA, released a joint statement: “During, and after, yesterday’s British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was subjected to multiple instances of racist abuse on social media following an in-race collision.

“Formula 1, The FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms. These people have no place in our sport and we urge that those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.

“Formula 1, the FIA, the drivers and the teams are working to build a more diverse and inclusive sport, and such unacceptable instances of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.”

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

Hamilton has been a vocal advocate for social justice and among the supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He said before the race that he was inspired by the reaction of England football players to racist abuse after their penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the European Championship final.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met social media firms last week to ask them to step up the fight against online abuse.

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