Racist and homophobic insults result in a harsh punishment for Nelson Piquet Snr after Hamilton slur. Former Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet has to pay a heavy fine for his racist and homophobic slur during an interview. The former F1 driver is also banned from the paddock.
A court in his home country Brazil sentenced him on Friday to pay five million Brazilian reals (almost 900,000 euros). The money is to go to the fight against racism and for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community and be distributed to corresponding funds.
Piquet apologises, but faces tough fines
Piquet had made a racial slur against Formula 1 record world champion Lewis Hamilton in a scandalous interview from November 2021. He later asked apologised, but also tried to justify his choice of words.
“I would like to explain the stories that are circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year,” said Nelson Piquet.
“What I said was ill thought out, and I am not trying to defend it but I wish to clarify the term I used which is widely and historically used in Brazilian Portuguese jargon as a synonym for ‘guy’ or ‘dude’ and I never intended to offend”
“I would never use the term I am accused of using in some translations. I condemn any suggestion that I would have used the word to denigrate a rider because of their skin colour.
“I apologise from the bottom of my heart to anyone who may have been affected, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some of the media now circulating on social media is not correct.”
“Discrimination has no place in F1 or society and I am happy to clarify my comments in this regard.”
Piquet further insults Hamilton with homophobic comment
Later, a passage of the interview was made public in which Piquet criticises Hamilton in a homophobic context. According to the Brazilian news website grandepremio, this latest interview is from November 2021.
Nelson says Lewis was “giving more his ass”, this is a literal translation of the expression “dando o cu”, which in this context means Lewis was too busy having gay sex to care about the championship.
Hamilton’s strong response to Piquet
Following news of Piquet’s racial slur, one Hamilton fan posted on Twitter:
Hamilton replied, “indeed”, then added in Portugese, “vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade,” which translates “let’s focus on changing the mindset.”
It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) June 28, 2022
Judge fines Piquet
Formula 1 declared Piquet persona non grata, and four human rights groups filed charges.
The Brazilian had caused “moral damage” to black people and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The judge in charge of the case saw it that way.
The statements were “intolerable. Especially when they come from such a famous and admired person,” the judge said.
Piquet’s offence was against “the fundamental values of society“. It is now “fair” that he helps his country to fight discrimination by paying the fine.
MORE F1 NEWS: Wolff happy to ‘cheat’ their way back
Aaahhhh Brazil. It figures. How many nazis went there?
It’s no surprise that their government and court system are full of fascists sprinkled with Leninist stalinists…
Funny how they were marked political and social enemies during their founding, But now run amuck hand in hand in todays world.
So much for freedom of speech.
Nelson explained it perfectly. In the US we’d compare it to how rednecks talked not that long ago. He’s definitely old school and that’s where it was coming from.
A put down? Yes. Racist and homophobic? Not hardly.