Sky Sports Formula 1 presenter Naomi Schiff has discussed how she dealt with being subject to hateful comments from social media trolls.
The versatile racing driver has received disgraceful racist messages, as well as being told she has only been successful in her line of work because of her race or gender.
Lewis Hamilton has also received similar online hate and has stood shoulder to shoulder with Schiff in the fight to stamp out racist abuse.
Last year, abusive behaviour within F1 spiked, and the ‘Drive it Out’ campaign was launched to help highlight and tackle the issue.
Schiff spoke to GIVEMESPORT about her experience and discussed what helped her get through what was a hugely difficult time in her life.
“It’s a tough one, because going into it, I considered myself someone with very tough skin and I always used to think I would be one of those people who wouldn’t let the comments section get to me, because I knew who I was and what I was about,” she explained.
“But then, when you find yourself faced with all of that, it’s quite intense, and you might doubt yourself and potentially lose yourself a little bit in that situation.”
Schiff then said she felt “very lucky” to receive the outpouring of support that followed.
She also stood strong on Twitter, responding to a particular comment in an unbothered manner and publicly thanked those who supported her.
Hamilton joined the many standing in her corner and posted a tweet praising her F1 coverage, as well as calling for better attitudes towards diversity in sport.
“Naomi is an ex-professional racing driver and totally qualified to give her opinion as part of the Sky team,” the seven time world champion wrote.
“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.”
Schiff stressed how much the positivity and backing from others in the industry helped her rebuild after being knocked back by the hateful comments.
She also gave some advice to other women who have been affected by online abuse, as sadly, this is all-too common in male-dominated sports industries.
“That was obviously a massive re-boost of my confidence and helped reposition things to where they needed to be,” Schiff continued.
“I felt super supported by my environment and respected by the people that mattered, and that kind of gave me the confidence to keep going, even if a minority of people were trying to break me down.
“So I guess to other women, I would say it’s important to just surround yourself with people who matter and care about you and seek advice from them in those moments because it just takes the people that really matter to you, reminding you in those moments, what you’re worth, and then you can bounce back.”