NASCAR driver penalized for tweet
NASCAR has placed Richard Petty Motorsports development driver Corey LaJoie on indefinite probation and will require him to undergo sensitivity training for an insensitive tweet.
The 22-year-old LaJoie, the son of former Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) champion Randy LaJoie, competes part time in the NASCAR K&N East Series as well as in ARCA. He is expected to run Nationwide races next year for RPM.
NASCAR did not release Wednesday what LaJoie was penalized for, but LaJoie received some backlash for this tweet Oct. 15:
“Is it stereotyping to ask TSA to cavity search the gentleman with a turban and a gray beard? I didn’t think so either”
The tweet was deleted from LaJoie’s timeline. The tweet elicited a handful on responses on Twitter telling LaJoie that it was a stereotypical statement.
NASCAR’s code of conduct rule states that no NASCAR member shall make a public statement “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.”
“Corey LaJoie recently issued an insensitive and intolerable communication that has no place in our sport,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR’s vice president for regional and touring series. “Each of NASCAR’s 2013 series-specific rule books includes our code of conduct that unequivocally states our stance specific to the use of demeaning language. We expect our entire industry to adhere to that code.”
LaJoie issued a statement Wednesday apologizing for the tweet.
“I am very sorry for those offended by my recent remark,” LaJoie said. “It was an immature and insensitive comment. I’m upset with myself and how this has affected what has been a very positive year in my career.”
The penalty continues a rough seven days for RPM, which released Todd Parrott after he failed a NASCAR drug test and was put on indefinite suspension by the sanctioning body.