Charlotte-area NASCAR driver fined for anti-gay slur

Driver Nelson Piquet Jr. placed on indefinite probation, must take sensitivity training

NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Nelson Piquet Jr. has been fined $10,000 for an anti-gay slur. Photo Credit: Royalbroil, via Wikipedia. Licensed CC.

NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Nelson Piquet Jr. has been fined $10,000 for an anti-gay slur. Photo Credit: Royalbroil, via Wikipedia. Licensed CC.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, whose team is based in Mooresville, has been fined $10,000, placed on indefinite probation and ordered to attend sensitivity training for using an anti-gay slur in social media, according to a report from USA Today.

Nelson Piquet Jr. used a three-letter anti-gay slur in an Instagram message to fellow driver Parker Kligerman, who had posted a “selfie” after a workout. The comment was caught in a screenshot by fan Matthew Breuer. Kligerman seemed to laugh it off.

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Piquet, in a separate, now-deleted Twitter message to a fan, said the comment was a joke between friends.

“Don’t act like if u have never called your friends names,” Piquet said in the tweet. “Were (sic) not living in the 50s anymore bud.. jokes are jokes.” has more details on the exchanges between Piquet and Breuer.

Piquet has since issued a statement apologizing for the remark.

Screenshot showing Nelson Piquet's anti-gay slur. Click to enlarge.

Screenshot showing Nelson Piquet’s anti-gay slur. Click to enlarge.

“I sincerely apologize to everyone for my poor choice of words last week,” Piquet said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”

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NASCAR officials say Piquet violated its Code of Conduct, which says a driver “shall not make or cause to be made a public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.”

Piquet, 28, drives in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, often considered a launching pad for drivers aiming to compete in the more well-known Sprint Cup Series. His team, Turner Scott Motorsports, is based in Mooresville. The team also released a statement and said they had spoken to Piquet about his “insensitive comment” and that he “understands that such remarks will not be tolerated.”

“TSM expects those associated with the team to uphold professional standards that we can all be proud of,” the company’s statement said. “Nelson has assured the team that he has learned his lesson and he knows what it means to represent TSM.”

Other drivers have run afoul of NASCAR’s conduct code before. Earlier this year, Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements used a racist slur against African-Americans. He was suspended for two races.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer is a staff writer for QNotes. He previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015.

4 Replies to “Charlotte-area NASCAR driver fined for anti-gay slur”

  1. Janice Covington October 2, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I worked with NASCAR for 23 years as a Motor Sports Safety instructor and the one thing they never realized in the past was that Gay people are race fans too. NASCAR is realizing the image of the good ole boy concept is gone and is now starting to accept LGBT as part of the racing community.

    1. Great point, Janice. Fox Sports did a video interview with N.C.-based, gay driver Steven Rhodes earlier this year. The report includes info on non-discrimination policies adopted by some of the larger racing teams.

    2. And, this was the statement NASCAR released for that video report: “NASCAR is a community made up of people from every walk of life. Our employees – regardless of their race, age, national origin, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, faith or physical abilities – do an outstanding job of helping to bring the best racing in the world to our fans every week and that is what matters. It’s a stated goal for our sport to reflect America’s diversity. Exclusion or intolerance of any kind – whether behind the wheel, on pit road, or in the garage – is not part of that philosophy.”

  2. I applaud NASCAR for their actions to this matter. I am gay and have watched NASCAR for 25 years. I will not miss a race even if I have to DVR it. It’s about time a national sport stood up for people of a different class no matter there background. Thanks NASCAR you will always be my favorite sport. THANKS….!!!!

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