Nationwide driver Nelson Piquet Jr. penalized for gay slur

Sean Gardner

NASCAR has penalized Nelson Piquet Jr. following a gay slur the Nationwide Series driver posted on Instagram.

NASCAR has fined Nelson Piquet $10,000 and ordered him to attend sensitivity training after posting a gay slur on a social media site.

Following a self-posted picture by fellow Nationwide Series driver Parker Kligerman on Instagram after a workout Sept. 25, Piquet responded with a derogatory response -- since deleted -- apparently in jest.

A fan, @MatthewBreuer, screen captured the post and questioned Piquet about the comment, which Piquet responded with a since deleted tweet: "Maybe u should know Parker is a personal friend of mine. If you look properly, we have other pictures making fun of each other.''

@MatthewBreuer responded: "Big difference between making fun and using an offensive slur w/o care. Directly offends #LGBT fans. They deserve better.''

Piquet responded: "don't act like if u have never called your friends names. Were not living in the 50s anymore bud.. jokes are jokes.''

That comment has also since been deleted from Piquet's Twitter account.

Piquet has also been placed on probation until the end of the season.

This isn't the first time this season NASCAR has punished a Nationwide driver for a derogatory remark. In February, Jeremy Clements was suspended two races for a racial slur he made to a reporter prior to the season-opening Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway.

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

In a statement released Tuesday night, Piquet, a native of Brazil, apologized.

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

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