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F1: Lewis Hamilton calls hometown “the slums,” tries to retract; social media blasts him

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Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home – except maybe for five-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton has suffered a major backlash from his native Great Britain, particularly from residents past and present of his hometown of Stevenage, about 30 miles north of London.

During Sunday’s annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year show, Hamilton, who earned his fifth F1 title this year, referred to his hometown in a less than flattering way.

“It’s been a really long journey, a dream for us all, as a family, to do something different, to get out of the slums,” Hamilton said.

Almost immediately realizing he misspoke, Hamilton quickly tried to correct himself, adding, “Well, we would say it’s not the slums, but just come out from somewhere and do something.”

The 33-year-old Hamilton’s “slums” comment set the social media world on fire.

According to the United Kingdom’s Daily Star newspaper, here are some of those comments:

* Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor said residents felt “very offended” at Hamilton’s comments and also called them “disappointing.” Taylor added, “He clearly realized what he had said and tried to correct it but sadly the people of our town, many of whom admire and support him, felt very offended.”

* Hamilton’s former babysitter said he was “shocked” at Hamilton’s words, calling Stevenage “charming and peaceful.”

* One Twitter user wrote: “Lewis Hamilton describing Stevenage as a slum [laughing emoji]. What an absolute toolbag.”

* Another Twitter user said: “Lewis Hamilton has just insulted EVERYONE in his home town of Stevenage!! It is NOT a ‘SLUM’ you t***!!”

* Added another Twitter user: “@LewisHamilton Are you for real?! Get your head out of your own a***! Slums?! I’ve lost a lot respect for you. Everyone knows that’s not true. #Stevenage #Hometown #SPOTY.”

* And one more tweet: “When your first friends and family are from the ‘slums’, don’t alienate your roots.. There’s worse places to live #stevenage #lewishamilton.”

Hamilton has not responded to the criticism nor publicly apologized for his comments. He finished second in the annual awards ceremony, as Tour de France Geraint Thomas captured top honors.

Given that Hamilton now lives in Monaco due to U.K. tax laws, and throw in the current drama, perhaps Hamilton will heed the author Thomas Wolfe’s words: “You can’t go home again.”

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Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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