Nationwide Series driver Nelson Piquet Jr. violated NASCAR’s Code of Conduct after posting a three letter gay slur on an Instagram comment. As USA Today reports on October 1, Piquet has been fined $10,000, put on probation and ordered to attend sensitivity training.
Piquet used the slur in response to another Nationwide Series driver Parker Kligerman after he posted a picture of himself after a workout. The slur didn’t seem to offend Kligerman, but being on social media, a fan saw the exchange and took a screen shot that eventually made its way to NASCAR who didn’t take Piquet’s use of a homophobic slur lightly.
NASCAR senior vice president or racing operations Steve O’Donnell released the following statement:
“Nelson Piquet Jr. recently communicated an offensive and derogatory term that cannot be tolerated in our sport. NASCAR’s Code of Conduct explicitly spells out in the 2013 rulebook our position regarding the use of disparaging terms. We expect our entire industry to abide by this code.”
Piquet Jr. initially blew it off as a joke but later apologized after he realized the consequences of the choice of his words and also vowed to be more sensitive to those around him.
“I sincerely apologize to everyone for my poor choice of words last week. I did not mean to hurt or offend anyone. This has been a cultural learning experience that will make me a more sensitive person moving forward.”
NASCAR’s punishment handed down to Piquet is consistent with the organization’s non-tolerance when it comes to criticism and ridicule shown towards another person based “upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.”
Nationwide driver Jeremy Clement was suspended earlier in the season after he made a racial slur aimed toward African-Americans. Piquet Jr. was also placed on indefinite probation. His team, Turner Scott Motorsports, stated that Piquet has been spoken to and he “has learned his lesson.”