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OPINION: Disrupting sport events to protest is misguided, especially Formula E

Although the efforts of those who are fighting for a better future remain important, trying to be heard by disrupting sport events won’t help and it’s time to find a different way otherwise more people will take it less seriously.

The latest sporting event that has been disrupted by climate activists was the Berlin E-Prix on Sunday and it has left some racers questioning the efforts and aims of the actions.

Several people climbed the fences at the start line as the drivers took their places on the grid and attempted to glue themselves to the track and support cars.

Climate activist group, ‘The Last Generation‘ took responsibility of what happened via Twitter, writing: “we are at the @eFORMLde racetrack to sound the alarm.”

The start of the race was delayed by six minutes as the activists were cleared from the grid by security.

Following the incident, Formula E released a statement addressing the issues:

“The race was temporarily delayed while local authorities responded to a protest action unrelated to the event. Security services quickly and safely contained the disruption. The event was able to proceed as planned.”

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Some of the drivers, including Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa, were left confused as to why the protesters chose an electric race to raise their concerns.

“I think we are all fighting for the same, right? I’m not sure what they are trying to do because we are probably the worst category in motorsport for them to come and do this at,” Da Costa told Motorsport publication The Race.

“We are by far the most ecological, sustainable and new zero series that ever existed.”

It wasn’t just the drivers who were left confused as some fans took to social media to vent their frustration.

It’s not the first time activists have disrupted a motorsport event, last year’s Formula 1 race at Silverstone was interrupted when activists entered the track during the first lap of the circuit.

With activists taking these steps at major sporting events it leaves those involved frustrated. Their aim is to be heard, but it’s difficult for fans who have paid to be there to listen and take notice of the cause, especially at an all electric race.

Formula E was recently ranked as the most sustainable sport by the 2022 Global Sustainability Benchmark in Sports annual report. The motorsport series was ranked as the top performer in four of the five categories including best environmental performance.

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Other sports have been hit by disruption too, a snooker table was covered with powder after a Just Stop Oil activist jumped onto the surface and in the past, football games have been stopped following protesters cable tying their necks to the goal post.

With these drastic actions potentially risking lives on a track or halting games of snooker and football, it’s clear to see why fans’ frustrations are growing.

These kind of choices are diluting the impact of their protests of what is a critical issue for society.

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