Pay Up

NASCAR Driver Nelson Piquet Jr. Fined $10,000 For Using Homophobic Slur

NASCAR announced that driver Nelson Piquet Jr. (pictured) has been placed on indefinite probation and would be fined $10,000 and required to attend sensitivity training after calling fellow NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman a “fag” on Instagram last week.

An upset fan, @MatthewBreuer, took a screen shot of the page then called Piquet out for his choice of words via Twitter.

In response, Piquet tweeted: “Maybe u should know Parker is a personal friend of mine. If you look properly, we have other pictures making fun of each other.”

To which @MatthewBreuer responded: “Big difference between making fun and using an offensive slur w/o care. Directly offends #LGBT fans. They deserve better.”

Piquet wrote back: “don’t act like if u have never called your friends names. Were (sic) not living in the 50s anymore bud.. jokes are jokes.”

Piquet was right about one thing: We’re not living in the 50s anymore. His choice of using an outdated and derogatory term caused a serious backlash. A number of media outlets picked up the story, calling out the driver for being homophobic and pressuring him to apologize.

Piquet’s tweets have since been deleted, and on Tuesday evening, he released an official statement, writing:

“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.”

We’ll have to take his word on it.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, also released a statement Tuesday, saying “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 rule book our position regarding the use of disparaging terms. We expect our entire industry to abide by this code.”

Time for gay and lesbian NASCAR fans to do a victory lap.

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  • snt72

    with the rise of Gayinc, Freedom of speech dies a slow death..

  • Mr. E. Jones


    with the rise of Gayinc, Freedom of speech dies a slow death..

    As evidenced by your comment on a gay blog being deleted. Oh, wait…

  • kayakriver

    he’s brazilian, brazilian guys are used to using slurs like that without any repercussion. im glad there was repercussion this time, BUD.

  • MikeE

    @snt72: And why exactly would you WANT to be “free” to use horrible derogatory names for people? You do know that with freedom comes responsibility. In this case, you are “free” to use the words you want, but you are responsible for your actions. He freely used a homophobic epithet, and he has to live with the consequences.

    Had it been a racial slur it would have been the same thing.

  • jwrappaport

    @snt72: Explain to me how a private organization sanctioning one of its own members amounts to an attack on free speech generally.

  • HeroQueero

    @jwrappaport: It’s not an attack on free speech. Piquet has the right to say whatever he wants. However, he works for an organization that has it’s own policies and protocols regarding the behavior of its employees. He’s free to say what he wants as long as he accepts the consequences of his actions from his employers, just as you are free to say anything you want as long as you accept whatever consequences befall you as a result of your actions.

    Just don’t expect to be the life of the party if you choose to be a bigot.

  • HeroQueero

    And by the way folks, pay no attention to trolls like snt72. They seem to be part of a rash of new homophobes who troll sites like Queerty and post anti-gay comments in a feeble attempt to stop social equality and progress. Too bad they don’t realize that love will win in the end.

  • Jeanluc

    The irony in all of this, is that, Mr.Nelson Piquet Jr. is gay! To his defense, he really did not mean to be offensive to any one. Cheers Dr. Jeanluc Capri

  • Mr. E. Jones



  • erikwm

    @snt72: “Freedom of speech” doesn’t mean freedom from ANY consequence of your speech. It just means the government can’t put you in prison for your speech. Piquet’s employer — not the government — took issue with his speech and they have the legal right to do so.

  • tdgaustin

    @erikwm: Yep!

  • breslowilario

    my buddy’s ex-wife makes *67 hourly on the laptop. She has been without work for five months but last month her pay was *13537 just working on the laptop for a few hours. More about the author…….

  • erasure25

    @snt72: I’m sorry but are you dumb or just pretending to be one on the internet? “Freedom of speech” does not mean you are immune to the consequences of the things you say. You are free to call black people the n-word. You won’t go to jail. But u will be on the receiving end of a fist, and rightly so. You can legally call someone a f-g, but you have to accept whatever consequences happen. As a professional race car driver, or pro athlete, you implicitly agree to certain ethical standards which includes not using bigoted slurs. So yea, that soapbox you’re on… It got crushed by the weight of your ignorance.

  • redspyder

    Apology: Nelson Piquet Jr. (after calling his friend & fellow NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman a “fag”): “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.”
    Not an Apology: Guido Barilla: “I apologize if my words generated misunderstandings or controversy or if they hurt some people’s feelings”
    Congratulations to Mr. Piquet for at least taking personal ownership in his apology – as opposed to Mr. Barillo, who sill blames you for taking it the wrong way. At least one person is trying to appear genuine with their regrets.

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