A serious confrontation erupted between Getty Images photographer Mark Thompson and a Hungarian security guard at the Hungaroring on Friday afternoon. Thompson himself shared two photos of the incident on his Twitter page, in one of which he wrote that he was slapped by the guard, which opened his mouth.
Not too friendly of a security guard
“The friendly face of Hungarian-style F1 trackside security! #thugs”
—Mark Thompson (@snapper_thommo) July 29, 2022
That’s the caption Getty photographer Marc Thompson tweeted about what happened to him at the Hungaroring in Mogyoród, Hungary on Friday afternoon. Thompson tells the story in two pictures. The first shows the photographer and the security guard arguing, and the second shows Thompson’s mouth open and bleeding after being slapped.
The friendly face of the Hungarian security at the edge of the track pt2 slap her on the face (note cut to the lip) pic.twitter.com/iLIsBhltZd
—Mark Thompson (@snapper_thommo) July 29, 2022
Photographer Getty’s post was found by vezess.hu. The car magazine wrote that the security guard is not an employee of the Hungaroring, but of a security company and it is unclear why he hit the photographer. His shirt displays the Valton Security logo.
Argument turning to aggression
According to information from hvg.hu, the two men started arguing because the photographer wanted to enter a part of the pitch where he had the right to go according to his accreditation, but the sports referees working on the site judged him dangerous. They told the security guard not to let him in.
The argument degenerated into an assault, and hvg.hu understands that the photographer was the first to lose his temper. The Hungarian news portal has contacted Thompson in writing to find out how he remembers the incident, but so far they have not received a response.
According to their information, on Friday evening and Saturday morning, the heads of the Hungarian and international security services, the head of communication of the International Automobile Federation and the top executives of the sports industry discussed the incident, listened to those involved and agreed on the standards of behavior in F1.
The case was reported
Meanwhile, the case of photographer Thompson has been reported. Balázs Szabó, a sports journalist and member of the International Association of Sports Journalists (AIPS), filed a complaint for alleged assault at a public event. In the complaint, which was also sent to 444.hu, he wrote:
“On behalf of several of my fellow journalists, we stand in solidarity with our elderly member who was abused and publicly express our regret that he suffered such abuse in Hungary. We would like to let him know that the Hungarian people are a people who love sport and peace and cannot be identified with the violent director who assaulted him.
“Dear Gödöllő Police Department!
I, Balázs Szabó, member of the International Association of Sports Journalists, hereby report the crime of assault at a public event against an unknown employee of Valton Security Zrt. for assaulting fellow British photojournalist Mark Thompson, a world-renowned British photojournalist, during the qualifying session for the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday at the Hungaroring. I demand that criminal proceedings be instituted and that the perpetrator be identified, located and held responsible.
On behalf of several of my fellow journalists, we stand in solidarity with our elderly member who was abused and publicly express our regret that he suffered such abuse in Hungary. We would like to let him know that the Hungarian people are a people who love sport and peace and cannot be identified with the violent director who assaulted him.
At the same time, by filing this report, we protest against the now serial and disgraceful behavior of Valton Security, which, not for the first time, has brought serious discredit to our country. It is regrettable that some employees of Valton Security are increasingly resorting to physical violence at the sporting events they organize in Hungary. In many cases, some employees of the company have displayed aggressive and condescending behavior, not only towards fans, but now it seems that they don’t even hesitate to use violence against media personnel. The question arises whether these employees of Valton Security will have a place at sporting events in Hungary in the future!
We call on the police to urgently investigate this matter which seriously damages the image of our country. At the same time, I ask members of the press to report on the case.
Member of the International Federation of Sports Journalists »
Source: 444.hu, hvg.hu, vezess.hu