Red Bull crewman fired for homophobic tweets
A Red Bull Racing crewman was fired for an anti-gay tweet he posted Sunday night following the Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway.
Prior to flying out of San Francisco on Sunday night, Jeremy Fuller, a contract employee and tire changer, posted on Twitter a photo of a gay pride banner on a car with the comment, “This is way [sic] I don’t live here!”
One of his Twitter followers responded with a tweet that read, “if we could get rid of them, it’d be a lot better.”
It appeared that Fuller later replied to that tweet, but did not retweet the original message. The response read: “lol.. Don’t we all wish!”
Fuller said Tuesday night that his initial tweet was meant as a joke to another crew member. He said he never posted that response and was on a plane when that appeared on his Twitter account. He took down the posts Monday morning, and Fuller said Tuesday night that he had been fired by Red Bull Racing and by Turner Motorsports, where he also worked a few races as a tire changer in the Nationwide Series.
“It was a joke between two friends and it cost me both of my jobs,” Fuller said. “I’m not racist and I do not hate gay people. It wasn’t intended to be what [it appeared]. … I didn’t write anything about getting rid of them or 'ha ha,' or 'laughing out loud.'"
In response to questions about the tweets, Red Bull issued a statement Tuesday night stating that a member of its team had been fired.
“Red Bull Racing Team was made aware of comments posted to a contractor's Twitter account following this weekend's race,” the statement said. “After investigating the matter, Red Bull Racing Team terminated the contractor's employment effective immediately.
“The race team regularly conducts diversity training and strictly enforces our team policies against any form of discrimination. We have zero tolerance for such violations and in no way support any of the comments posted by this individual.”
NASCAR’s rulebook includes a short Code of Conduct paragraph, with Rule 7-5 saying: “A NASCAR Member 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.”
Fuller stressed that he did not hate gay people and did not mean for the tweet, which he said was designed to only go to one other person, to be taken that way.
“I don’t have any negative thoughts about gay people,” Fuller said. “I got rid of everything because I did not want it to go this far. … I’ve got gay friends. It was like, ‘Hey, look, this [banner] is something you don’t [typically] see. It’s like, ‘Wow, let’s post this.’” Scenedaily.com