FIA condemns racist behavior towards Junior WRC competitor

McRae Kimathi has been targeted by some social media users on the build up to Rally Sweden

McRae Test Day-28

Junior WRC competitor McRae Kimathi has been subject to racist abuse online in the lead up to his debut in the World Rally Championship’s feeder series, it has emerged.

Comments made by multiple users on Junior WRC social media posts that centred on Kimathi’s pre-season test in Norway contained emojis used to convey racist overtones towards those of black ethnic backgrounds.

The FIA released a statement on Wednesday night condemning the actions of those perpetrating the abuse.

“In the build-up to Rally Sweden, FIA Junior WRC competitor McRae Kimathi has been subjected to racial abuse on social media,” read the FIA statement.

“We condemn racist abuse and any form of discrimination towards our teams, competitors and fans and we will take all necessary steps to help ensure that any abuse is reported to the relevant authority.

“We are working to build a more diverse and inclusive sport and abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.

“There is no place for it in our sport and in society.”

Junior WRC championship manager Maciej Woda added: “Racism has no place in our sport or anywhere in the world. I was shocked, saddened and disgusted to see some of the comments we received on social media.

“Rallying is a sport that relies so much on embracing different cultures, communities and people from around the world. So far we are monitoring our social media channels closely and taking action on any racist comments or views that are directed to our competitors.

“I am full of admiration for what McRae and Mwangi are doing, putting themselves in a completely different and challenging environment. They are pushing themselves way beyond their comfort zone and should be applauded for what they are doing.”

Kimathi is the only black and African driver registered for both Rally Sweden and the full Junior WRC campaign this year.

Words:Alasdair Lindsay