Portimao (Portugal) (AFP)

British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton "probably plans to follow and support this weekend" the social media boycott launched by English football clubs to protest against racist insults against players.

"I haven't decided yet but for me it is clear, especially in our sport, that racism continues to be a problem," remarked the only black driver in F1 history during 'a press conference on Thursday, on the eve of the Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimao.

“I think social media needs to do more to combat this and I fully support this initiative,” he continued. “If doing this too can help put pressure on these platforms to fight it,” he continued. I will be happy. "

"I don't know why Formula 1 doesn't do it but I hear many organizations do (...) So like I said I will probably follow and support the movement this week -end ”, concluded the seven-time world champion, at the forefront of the fight against racism in his discipline.

On his initiative, following the murder of African-American George Floyd by a white policeman last year, a demonstration by the pilots against racism precedes each GP.

They too questioned on their intentions, the Australian driver of McLaren Daniel Ricciardo also "considers" a boycott, when his British teammate Lando Norris wonders if it is the "right solution".

Asked by AFP, F1 said "support the actions of the Premier League and other sports organizations and athletes who stress that more must be done to eradicate online hatred that they live directly".

"However, we continue to work with all platforms and our own audience to promote respect and positive values ​​and put an end to racism," said the promoter of the world championship.

Last Saturday, the English clubs announced a total blackout on the social networks of the English Federation, Premier League, Second Division and Women's Super League clubs between Friday 14:00 GMT and Monday 22:59 GMT.

The action comes "in response to the continued and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many other football-related people," English football officials said.

© 2021 AFP

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