Hamilton: Social media sites must do more to fight racism

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has called on social media companies to do more to fight racism across their platforms ahead of a sports-wide boycott this weekend.

Hamilton: Social media sites must do more to fight racism

In a bid to combat continue racist abuse and discrimination online, English football clubs and leagues announced last week they would be taking part in a three-day social media blackout.

England's cricket board, Premiership Rugby and the Lawn Tennis Association have today thrown their support behind the blackout, which lasts from Friday 30 April to 23:59 on Monday 3 May.

Hamilton has been F1's leading voice to push for change through motorsport, combating racism and improving diversity in the wake of last year's protests and activism around the world.

His Mercedes team switched its cars to an all-black livery last year in a strong anti-racism message, and has embarked on plans to improve diversity within the team.

Asked about the social media blackouts taking place this weekend, Hamilton said that while he was yet to make any plans to join the boycott, he felt it was important that action was taken to clamp down on racist abuse.

"I think for me it's clear, and clearly in this sport, it's clear that racism continues to be an issue, and I think social media platforms do need to do more in order to combat this," Hamilton said.

"So I'm fully supportive of the initiative. If me also doing it helps put pressure on those platforms to help fight against it, then for sure, I'm happy to do so."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes,

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes,

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Hamilton was subject to racist abuse in the early part of his F1 career, and wrote last year that "nothing was said or done" by the series' former leadership to combat this.

The seven-time F1 world champion said on Thursday that he had faced racist abuse via social media in the past, but learned to take a step back from the platforms.

"I was subject to abuse a long, long time ago, at a time when I was younger, when I was reading social media, reading like many people do, trying to engage with people," Hamilton said.

"But there was a period of time where I had to understand that firstly you can't read every comment that's on there, and you can't take it personally. If you let those things get to you, then they can ruin your day.

"I do believe that social media companies need to do more. There's algorithms, there's things they're able to see, they're able to take steps to help and create more of an anti-racist society. That's what we've got to be pushing towards.

"I don't know all the details, but I'm really proud to hear that there are so many organisations getting involved.

"I'm not sure why Formula 1 is not part of that, but I hope people like Sky are for example. So as I said, I think I probably will follow and support this weekend."

shares
comments
Russell: Actions after Bottas crash "very poor judgement"

Previous article

Russell: Actions after Bottas crash "very poor judgement"

Next article

Tsunoda set his "goal too high" for Imola F1 race

Tsunoda set his "goal too high" for Imola F1 race
Load comments
The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021