Lewis Hamilton has defended Sky F1 reporter Naomi Schiff, who came under fire from the keyboard warrior brigade offended by her coverage of the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and her credentials to be a pundit questioned on social media.
A vocal minority, the usual trolls that mar any sport, took exception to her punditry and polluted social media platforms with disparaging remarks.
Hamilton took to Twitter to defend the former race driver, roped in to be part of Sky F1’s respected team of pundits: “Naomi is an ex-professional racing driver and totally qualified to give her opinion as part of the Sky team.
“She’s been a great asset since joining and we should welcome more representative broadcasting with open arms. Still have a long way to go to change these attitudes in sport,” added the seven-time F1 World Champion.
Amid the abuse directed at her, there were well-wishers and professionals (like all of us on this site) appalled by the abuse and sheer cyberbullying who should be weeded out and expelled from the platform by Twitter.
Naomi: Thank you to everyone who has come to my defence
— Naomi Schiff Racing (@NaomiSchiff) June 14, 2022
On Tuesday, Schiff posted the following Tweet, that caught Hamilton’s eye: “Thank you to everyone who has come to my defence. I appreciate all the love and support, none of you go unnoticed!
“Sadly the issue of online bullying, bashing, shaming etc. is one I don’t believe is going anywhere anytime soon. Social media, in some cases, gives voices to individuals who don’t deserve to be heard. So I encourage anyone reading this to not indulge in it or retaliate or seek revenge.
“Remember that your words do have impact and that therefore we should do something positive with these platforms and be kind to one another.
“Lastly, I love my job and I won’t let anyone turn down my ambition or passion because they are uncomfortable with the volume,” added 28-year-old Schiff.
Her racing experience includes, GT racing, Touring Cars, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula VW South Africa and most recently W-Series.
Schiff was born in Antwerp to a Belgian father and Rwandan mother, and grew up in South Africa. She now lives in the United Kingdom.
Naomi is an ex-professional racing driver & totally qualified to give her opinion as part of the Sky team. She’s been a great asset since joining & we should welcome more representative broadcasting with open arms. Still have a long way to go to change these attitudes in sport. https://t.co/E6U7zX4XqI
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) June 14, 2022
[Editor’s Note: We back the right of Naomi Schiff to report for the Sky F1 commentary team without hindrance. The abuse of up-and-coming professionals doing their best, when opportunities like this arise, is unacceptable and the culprits should be held accountable for their words. We urge Twitter to take immediate action and start weeding out those well-known, highly-vocal, hate-packed individuals by banning them from the platform. The putrid abuse must end and the owners of the platform must act or be accountable or face legal action from those affected by cyberbullying and internet abuse of this nature.]