Lewis Hamilton backs Marcus Rashford after racist abuse – ‘Must be held accountable’

F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?

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Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton has spoken out in support of Marcus Rashford after the Manchester United forward revealed on his social media that he had been sent “at least 70 racial slurs” after United’s defeat in the Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdansk.

The Red Devils were denied a first trophy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the match finished 1-1 and went to a penalty shootout.

Every player from both sides scored from the spot until United goalkeeper David de Gea stepped up, with his effort saved.

Following the defeat, Rashford posted to his 4.4 million followers on Twitter: “At least 70 racial slurs on my social accounts counted so far.

“For those working to make me feel any worse than I already do, good luck trying.

“I’m more outraged that one of the abusers that left a mountain of monkey emojis in my DM is a maths teacher with an open profile.

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“He teaches children!! And knows that he can freely racially abuse without consequence…”

And Hamilton, who is an avid campaigner against injustice, added these words of support for Rashford after the outpouring of abuse: “Hiding behind a screen and sharing racist abuse is unforgivable.

“These people are not real fans, and should be held accountable.

“Stay strong and stand proud Marcus Rashford, we are all behind you on this.”

This season, Hamilton pledged to “keep pushing” in the fight against racism this year, and led Formula One’s pre-race demonstrations promoting equality last year, saying it was important “to hold ourselves and others accountable”.

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The Briton became more involved in speaking out after the global outcry following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of US police.

A US jury found a former police officer guilty of murder over the death Mr Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year.

Derek Chauvin, 45, was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last May.

Hamilton attended Black Lives Matter marches in London last year and pushed to make sure his new Mercedes contract for 2021 included the formation of a joint charitable foundation to promote greater diversity and inclusion.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Hamilton said he was proud he has been able to speak out against injustice: “For one of the very few people of colour within our sport, to be able to voice out your feelings and be open about experiences you’ve had, not be sure of the criticism or backlash that might come from that if it’s interpreted that way.

“And now we live in a space where we can be a lot more open about, and no one has the right to tell us to shut up anymore.

“I think that’s super empowering you know.”

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