NASCAR racer Nelson Piquet Jr has been ordered to attend sensitivity training by the US National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing and fined $10,000 after he posted an anti-gay slur on social media.
Piquet Jr posted a three letter anti-gay slur on Instagram on 25 September in response to fellow Nationwide Series driver Parker Kligerman posting a photo of himself working out but issued an apology over it yesterday, saying the response to his actions had been a learning experience.
‘I sincerely apologize to everyone for my poor choice of words last week. I did not mean to hurt or offend anyone,’ Piquet Jr said in a statement.
‘This has been a cultural learning experience that will make me a more sensitive person moving forward.’
He had initially defended the comment saying it had just been an innocent joke between friends.
The offensive comment has been deleted.
Piquet Jr was found by the sporting body to be in breach of its code of conduct which was updated earlier this year to be more explicit about what was expected from people involved in NASCAR when it comes to derogatory language.
NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations Steve O’Donnell called the slur Piquet Jr had used ‘an offensive and derogatory term that cannot be tolerated in our sport.’
‘Regarding the use of disparaging terms, we expect our entire industry to abide by this code.’
Piquet Jr’s racing team Turner Scott Motorsports has also raised the issue with him and made known to him it will not tolerate such remarks from its drivers.