Muhammed bin Sulayem, the head of FI Governing body, FIA, had raised an alarming bell earlier this week saying that online abuse against players, volunteers alongside officials could yield a devastating air in the sports.
The FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem also added that a female steward had recently received death threats, while harassment and hate speech on officials and players are quite usual in Formula One. After last year’s title decider in Abu Dhabi, Nicholas Latifi had received death threats as his DNF had introduced a late safety car, which in effect had helped Red Bull’s Verstappen to seize his first Formula 1 victory while robbing Hamilton of his record eighth drivers’ championship title.
FIA president warns against online abuse
Meanwhile, addressing to the extents of atrocities at which the hate speeches alongside threats have reached, FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem said in a statement, “The level of sustained toxicity has reached crisis point.
It is time for all of us to unite - and to act”. The statement has been first published on FIA’s official website. The death threat to a female steward that Mohammed bin Sulayem has been citing, was made after Fernando Alonso had met with a penalty at US Grand Prix in Austin.
Adding that such incidences might have piercing impact on mental health of the officials alongside volunteer, Mohammed bin Sulayem wrote, “It is utterly deplorable that a volunteer such as Silvia or any of our marshals and officials, who volunteer their time to allow us to go racing, is the subject of such hatred.
We have to ask ourselves, who would want to pursue becoming a top official in this environment? The reality is obvious -- if this continues it will destroy our sport”.