The seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, has come out in the open to defend the Canadian and the Williams driver, Nicholas Latifi. Nicholas Latifi’s crash in Abu Dhabi played an indirect role in Lewis losing out on the record eighth championship. The Canadian faced online abuses and death threats from online trolls and was prompted to hire bodyguards on his visit to London, as reported by DailyMail.
The driver spoke about the rationale behind the security, saying, “It might sound silly, but at the end of the day, you don’t know how serious people are. All it needs is one drunk fan at an airport, or you bump into someone who is having a bad day and is intoxicated and has really extreme opinions. It takes just that one-in-a-million person.”
Latifi also told how Lewis Hamilton contacted him after the race. Latifi also took a break from social media, following all the hatred spewed at him. Lewis Hamilton is also known for his advocacy for social causes such as this, and his actions certainly speak louder than his words.
Lewis Hamilton’s say on mental health and social media companies
Lewis Hamilton has urged companies to take action against cyber abuse and bullying. The driver believes the companies haven’t done much to build a safe space. The fact that Latifi had to endure such abuse following an accident speaks a lot about the toxic internet culture and the inability of the social media platforms to check it in any form.
He said, “Ultimately, I don’t think there’s been a huge change or shift, or enough work that’s been done by these social platforms. We still have to apply pressure for them to make changes. Mental health is a real thing, and through these social platforms, people are experiencing abuse. No one deserves that, and it should never be tolerated,” as quoted by DailyMail.
Lewis added, “They’re able to change these things and make changes. But they don’t seem to do it quick enough. So, I think we just need to continue to apply pressure. I was in touch with Nicholas. He has my full support. And I know how difficult it can be in those situations. It’s important for him to know that he has support from people around him.”
It’s important to initiate a dialogue for mental health, and it’s great to see influential people like Lewis Hamilton taking a step in that direction. While the fans must refrain from misusing the platforms.