Nelson Piquet Jr. fined for directing homophobic slur

NASCAR fined Nationwide Series driver Nelson Piquet Jr. $10,000 and placed him on indefinite probation Tuesday for using a homophobic slur on Instagram last week.

Piquet, who drives for Turner Scott Motorsports, also will have to undergo sensitivity training.

While commenting on a photo that Nationwide Series driver Parker Kligerman posted of himself, Piquet used a three-letter slur as a one-word description of Kligerman. The word is offensive to a homosexual.

The comment violated NASCAR’s code of conduct rule, which 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."

"Nelson Piquet Jr. recently communicated an offensive and derogatory term that cannot be tolerated in our sport," Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, said in a statement. "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."

Piquet, a 28-year-old driver from Brazil and son of a three-time Formula One champion, apologized for the comment:

"I sincerely apologize to everyone for my poor choice of words last week," he said in a statement. "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."

His race team said the comments did not live up to its standards for employees.

"We have spoken to Nelson about his insensitive comment and he understands that such remarks will not be tolerated at Turner Scott Motorsports," the team said in a statement.

"TSM expects those associated with the team to uphold professional standards that we can all be proud of. Nelson has assured the team that he has learned his lesson and he knows what it means to represent TSM."

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