Lewis Hamilton joins social media boycott of sport after revealing he has become the latest athlete to be abused online … before wondering why F1 doesn’t support the three-day protest over the weekend
- F1 star Lewis Hamilton is one of the most prominent social media figures in the sport
- Hamilton has now pledged to join the social media sports boycott over the weekend
- England Rugby and the LTA have also backed the protest led by English football
- Seven-time world champion Hamilton said: ‘I fully support the initiative’
Sir Lewis Hamilton has pledged to participate in the social media sports boycott this weekend after confirming he was the target of online abusers.
The seven-time world champion also wondered why Formula 1 does not support the three-day protest led by English football.
Hamilton, with 22 million followers on Instagram alone, is one of the most prominent social media figures in international sport – and his declaration of solidarity comes when other organizations, including England Rugby and the Lawn Tennis Association, backed a massive shutdown.
Lewis Hamilton insisted that he “fully supports the initiative” to boycott social media
Hamilton said ahead of Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix: ‘I fully support the initiative and when I do it, I put pressure on those platforms, I like to do it.
It is clear that racism is still a problem and that social media platforms need to do more to combat it.
‘There are algorithms and they are able to see things and take steps to create an anti-racist society, and that’s where we need to go.
‘I am very proud to hear that so many organizations are participating. I’m not sure why Formula 1 isn’t part of that. ‘
Clearly, Formula 1 executives spoke to the teams this week to discuss the topic but decided not to participate.
The seven-time world champion is one of the most prominent social media figures in the sport
A spokesperson for the sport said Sportsmail: ‘F1 is fully committed to fighting any form of discrimination, online or otherwise.
“We support the actions of the Premier League and other sports organizations and athletes by emphasizing that more needs to be done to eradicate online abuse that they receive directly.
“We will continue to work with all platforms and our own audience to promote respect and positive values and end racism.”
Hamilton, 14 years after making his debut, still the only black driver in Formula 1, said: ‘I was abused when I was younger.
There was a time when I had to understand that you can’t read every comment or take it personally.
Hamilton has 22 million followers on Instagram, which he regularly uses to keep fans in the loop
“Letting those things keep you busy can ruin your day. I took a step back and I generally don’t look for that stuff, or for validation.
“I have great support from many fans who follow me and I am grateful for that.”
While Hamilton contributed to sports politics, the man who wants to be his replacement or teammate next season, George Russell, was smoothing out the ripples that showed his excellent reputation.
The 23-year-old Williams driver was last seen angrily tapping Valtteri Bottas on the helmet after the pair collided in Imola two weeks ago. Russell had tried to make his way past the Mercedes man, but lost traction on wet grass and they both tumbled off the track at 200 mph.
The Englishman had the right to make the move even if it didn’t work out, but then got carried away in a rush of adrenaline as he climbed out of the cockpit to protest.
George Russell said his actions were “not my true self” after a collision with Valtteri Bottas
Russell cooled his anger after a crash with Bottas who took both out of the race at Imola
Russell called Bottas the next day to catch up, but the intended recipient was asleep and missed the call. The Finn accepted on Thursday that the fracas were ‘done and dusted’.
A remorseful but unmoved Russell said: “After having a week or even an evening to calm the emotions and think about everything, the incident is one thing, part racing and these things happen. But my actions after that were not my true self.
‘I went against my instincts. It was a very bad decision in the heat of the moment. I want to lead by example and be a role model and that was not to lead by example. ‘
Russell has since spoken with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. “Toto was very supportive and constructive,” said Russell. ‘Our relationship has not been damaged at all. On the contrary. ‘