By Olivia Mungwana
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has criticized recent racist comments sent to Kenyan junior driver McRae Kimathi on social media.
The governing body of the World Rally Championship (WRC) stated that racism has no place in society or the sport and that offenders of racist remarks will be reported to authorities.
“In the build-up to Rally Sweden, FIA Junior WRC competitor McRae Kimathi has been subjected to racist abuse on social media. We condemn racist abuse and any form of discrimination towards our teams, competitors, and fans,” FIA said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We will take all necessary steps to help ensure that any abuse is duly reported to the relevant authority. We are working to build a more diverse and inclusive sport and abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.”
Since his pre-season test earlier this month, Kimathi, a rookie driver in this year’s Junior World Rally Championships in Sweden, has been the target of racial slurs online.
This year, the 27-year-old is the only African and black driver competing in both the Sweden rally and the whole Junior World Rally Championship.
Kimathi began racing in 2016 and is aiming to follow the example of Colin McRae, the renowned rally driver after whom he is named. Mwangi Kioni is steering him in the right direction, guiding him.
“We are not really used to that type of weather, it’s normally sunshine all day long. I’ve never been on snow before or anything like it, so it’s a completely new experience for me,” Kimathi said before Thursday’s games.
“We’ll try and learn as much as possible to gain experience. I want to learn the roads and the different surfaces, which will probably help me in the future.”