Revealed: Vile racist abuse against Lewis Hamilton and Naomi Schiff

Lewis Hamilton has previously referred to social media as a ‘toxic place’.

Unfortunately for many athletes, social media is no longer a safe space for them to post what they’re up to and interact with their fanbase.

The presence of trolls, whose only aim is to upset and harm individuals with vile abuse is yet to be eradicated by social media companies, leaving their websites a toxic place.

In a recent study by The Female Drive, the true extent of some of the abuse on social media has been revealed, with racist abuse being the target of the investigation.

The study which was completed in partnership with Areto Labs found that during October and November of last year, more than 5,000 examples of racist abuse can be found surrounding Formula 1 on social media.

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Five percent of these messages were deemed to be ‘high risk’, meaning that they provided a genuine threat to the individuals and suggested violence.

The N-word was spotted over 1000 times, while the words ‘monkey’ and ‘ape’ were also common.

Following the killing of George Floyd in 2020, the ‘We Race as One’ campaign started in Formula 1, campaigning for equality in the sport.

Lewis Hamilton also brought the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement to the sport, taking the knee and wearing t-shirts protesting against racism to multiple race weekends.

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The Female Drive’s study unfortunately revealed that over the course of their investigation, around 3,500 messages mention BLM but almost always in a negative way.

It was also found that Hamilton was referred to as a ‘monkey’ or a ‘slave’ numerous times on social media, as well as being called the N-word.

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Sky Sports presenter Naomi Schiff, who has recently been confirmed as part of the 2023 presenter lineup, has also been a target of some of this vile abuse.

Some individuals replied to the announcement to tell Schiff that “no-one cares about black people” and accused her of “spreading the virus of Black History Month.”

Formula 1 started the ‘Drive it Out’ campaign in a bid to rid the sport of such vile abuse, but until these anonymous troll accounts can be removed from social media, it will remain a place full of this vile behaviour.