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Racist and homophobic comments against Lewis Hamilton, Former F1 pilot, Nelson Piquet fined about 1 million dollars

Racist and homophobic comments against Lewis Hamilton, Former F1 pilot, Nelson

Three-time Formula One champion Nelson Piquet was ordered to pay a fine of nearly $1 million in moral damages for racist and homophobic comments aimed at Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, a court ruling published on Friday said. The statement states:

"The Substitute Judge of the 20th Civil Court of Brasilia sentenced former Formula 1 driver Nelson Piquet Souto Maior to pay R$ 5 million in compensation for collective moral damages, to be allocated to funds for the promotion of racial equality and discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community, due to the offenses committed against the current Formula 1 driver, Lewis Hamilton."

Piquet used a Brazilian Portuguese racial and homophobic slur during a television interview in November 2021 to describe seven-time champion Hamilton when handling a high-speed crash involving Hamilton and Max Verstappen during the Silverstone Grand Prix. The clip went viral and drew a backlash against Piquet, who later apologized for his comments, a point reinforced by the court statement.

"The defendant, in his defence, argued that he had already renounced the way he treated the English driver, but that his behavior did not characterize racism or homophobia and there was no need to speak of hate speech or insulting the population of black or the LGBTQIA+ community in general. He maintained that, despite using inappropriate language, there was no intent to harm the honor of Hamilton or anyone else. Thus, since it was not hate speech, the duty to would not be characterized."

The statement, however, reinforced that Piquet's actions affect not only the individual rights of the victim, but the values ​​of the entire community, and of the black population and the LGBTQIA+ community in particular. Formula 1, Mercedes and the FIA, motorsport's global governing body, all condemned Piquet at the time, and Piquet apologized for the racial slur and said his comments had no racist intent. Earlier, Pique said:

"What I said was ill-conceived and I make no defense of it, but I will clarify that the term used is one that has been widely and historically used in the Brazilian Portuguese language as a synonym for "boy" or "person" and never had intended to offend, I will never use the word I have been accused of in some translations. I strongly condemn any suggestion that the word was used by me with the intention of denigrating a pilot because of the color of his skin. Discrimination has not place in F1 or society and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in this regard."

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