Nelson Piquet Jr.
Nelson Piquet Jr. has been fined by America’s National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) for using a gay slur on social media.
On 25 September, Piquet – the son of Brazilian Formula One legend Nelson Piquet – responded to an Instagram selfie of fellow driver Parker Kligerman with the comment, “Fag”.
A fan, @MatthewBreuer, reacted with: “Big difference between making fun and using an offensive slur w/o care. Directly offends #LGBT fans. They deserve better.”
Piquet in return replied that the slur was meant in jest: “don’t act like if u have never called your friends names. Were not living in the 50s anymore bud.. jokes are jokes.”
The comment, which has since been deleted, has now gotten the 28-year-old into hot water, with NASCAR officially sanctioning him.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, announced on Tuesday that Piquet had been fined $10,000 and had been ordered to attend sensitivity training.
The driver also expressed his regret in a statement, saying: “I sincerely apologise to everyone for my poor choice of words last week. I did not mean to hurt or offend anyone.”
He added: “This has been a cultural learning experience that will make me a more sensitive person moving forward.”
Piquet’s North Carolina based NASCAR team Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) said that it would not tolerate discriminatory remarks from its drivers.
“TSM expects those associated with the team to uphold professional standards that we can all be proud of,” it said in a statement. “Nelson has assured the team that he has learned his lesson and he knows what it means to represent TSM.”