Lewis Hamilton was not the target of a racist insult by Nelson Piquet. Nelson Piquet claims the translation of the phrase he used was incorrect but acknowledged the errors in his reasoning and apologized to Hamilton.
Piquet used an insult that can be interpreted as the N-word to characterize Hamilton in comments made last year but made public on Monday. Nelson said his remarks were not meant to offend, even after his remarks were widely criticized.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Brazilian stated, “I would want to clarify the stories circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year. I won’t apologize for what I said, which was poorly thought out, but,
I will say that the phrase I used is one that has long been used informally in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for “man” or “person,” and it was never meant to be offensive. “I never use the term ‘I’ as some translations have accused me of doing.
I vehemently deny any claims that I intended to denigrate a driver because of his skin tone when I used the word. “I sincerely apologize to everyone who was impacted, Piquet’s comments, according to Hamilton, a longtime advocate for diversity and anti-racism, were a symptom of a deeper problem.
“It goes beyond words. These outdated viewpoints must shift because they have no place in our sport, he said. “All my life, I’ve been surrounded by these views and targeted. There has been ample opportunity for learning. The moment has come to act.
The governing body of Formula One, the FIA, issued a statement condemning racism but hasn’t yet specified what actions it would take against Piquet or addressed the requests for action Hamilton believes are essential. The FIA is convening a meeting of the world racing council on Wednesday in Paris.
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