The thoughts of Chris Gurton on motorsport, his photography, his work and his life in general. The thoughts, views and opinion's expressed in this blog are those of Chris Gurton and not necessarily those of any publication that he contributes to.

Show Some Respect

The death of two motorsport stars is a terrible tragedy for all. It is something that ultimately does come as a shock to all those involved in the sport and despite the fact that it is of course dangerous, it is also generally pretty safe. Thankfully modern technology and safety advances have made the sport safer than it was in years passed despite the increase in speeds achieved.

However, despite the terrible loss of Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli, the media still feel it appropriate to splash graphic images across newspapers and the internet along with video footage of the accidents which caused both deaths. This is unbelievable, disgusting and damn right disrespectful. Family and friends of both sportsmen have to come to terms with their loss yet the whole time these gruesome images are paraded about within the public domain. I saw the replay of Dan Wheldons accident soon after it happened and before his death was announced. I didn’t see the Simoncelli incident and have not made an attempt to see it. Had I known the Indycar accident was to cause someone’s death I would not have wanted to see it and I wish I hadn’t in all honesty. Those people who have actively gone to view either or both video’s knowing what was to result are not fans of motorsport. Those who decided to print and display graphic images in the media are not fans of motorsport either. It leaves me with a sick feeling and a question of morality within human kind that people feel this is acceptable.

Dan Wheldon

It is not just the images that are displayed and printed that upset me either. It is the resulting reports, views and opinions on the tragedies and motorsport that also get to me. One reporter went as far as to suggest Dan Wheldon’s death was a direct link to his desire to win the five million dollar prize on offer. How could someone who clearly knows nothing about the driver say such a thing? The media is full of tripe written by people who know nothing about the sport having their say. Reporters and Bloggers alike have felt it is the right time to stick their opinions in where it isn’t wanted.

I read one online report from an apparently well regarded writer who even clearly stated to knowing nothing about the sport, yet goes on to tell everyone that motorsport should be banned because it causes countless deaths. She is however not alone. There are many more out there who give off their opinion and some even suggesting that Motorsports fans bay for accidents to happen and are disappointed when there aren’t any. This is just outrageous guff. The very fact that motorsport fans from around the world have been united with their heartfelt tributes to both men speaks volumes and how misinformed many outside of the sports ‘community’ are very much misinformed or delusional they are.

Marco Simoncelli

A competitive nature is within all of us. It is part of our genetic makeup. We all want to be good at something and enter competitions with the hope of winning. We all push ourselves to be better, faster, or stronger. It is part of live. Races take place in all forms, on foot, on horseback or on bike. The invention of the motorcar provided another alternative form of competition. Let’s face it, Romans raced chariots around an oval thousands of years before the car was invented.

No one denies the fact that motorsports is dangerous. Of course it is. You would be stupid to think it wasn’t. But let’s get real, is this a reason it should be banned? No. Driving your own car on public roads is dangerous, but that doesn’t stop people doing it. There is risk in practically everything we do but we can’t wrap ourselves up in cotton wool. Stupid opinions, unnecessary comments and images at a time when people are still mourning and coming to terms with the loss of two talented individuals is totally out of order and highly disrespectful.

We all know that certain forms of media are severely lacking in morals yet they continue to stoop to new lows. Dan and Marco weren’t bad people, they were and still are adored by many who realised their talent and ability. So I plea to the worlds media, for the sake of human kind, stop using their deaths as a platform to make money, sell papers & magazines or boost popularity and show some respect for a change.

Rest in peace Dan and Marco.


2 responses

  1. Graeme Fowler

    Too right.

    However – and this is a painful point to make – too many “fans” have felt it necessary to insult, abuse and generally be rude to or about the authors of the pieces. That plays straight into their hands, marking the motorsport community as a baying mob who won’t let others have an opinion.

    Some of the comments from fans I’ve seen on pieces of writing which are arguable (at best) or downright ignorant (at worst) have been classics in terms of “Internet Loons” – you’d be hard pushed to find worse on some well-known daily newspaper websites. They’ve been abusive, insulting – or worse, threatening.

    If someone has an ill-informed opinion, it’s up to those who are informed to correct it. But we don’t do that by name-calling, belittling or stating that we’re going to smash their faces in, do we? Because that just drops us to the level of… well, you can insert your own term here.

    Disagree by all means, but be decent about it.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm

  2. Cameron Macqueen

    Whilst I understand your concern, unfortunately the reality is that human beings are all different.

    You don’t want to see images, others do. You might like mowing the lawn, others detest it..

    The great thing is that we all have ‘choice’. You can choose to view or not to view the footage. You can’t change all the others in the world (as much as we’d like to sometimes) so I wouldn’t even bother writing about your disgust, those ‘others’ don’t care anyway!

    You sound like a citizen with morals. Do your bit, go hard, but theres no point getting angry about stuff that you just can’t control.

    Personally, I’ve raced for 14 years and just had to view those two accidents in slow motion so I could understand how it was possible that two people I had the utmost respect for could possibly not be coming back to give us more joy and entertainment in the future. With tears in my eyes I think of their families and friends, whilst wondering is there anything that could have been done to prevent those crashes…. Or is it just as it appears, an ‘accident’.

    At the end of the day, famous people create headlines. I wish those two guys didn’t create the headlines they did. RIP Dan and Marco. Thinking of your families.

    November 12, 2011 at 9:59 am

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