Wednesday, June 29, 2011
NASCAR is a red-blooded American sport enjoyed by all … young, old, black, white, and yes ... gay or straight.
Following this weekend’s race at Infineon, a tweet appeared from Red Bull Racing team member Jeremy Fuller with a photo of a van carrying a sign in support of San Francisco's Gay Pride parade and included the comment, “This is way I don't live here." Fuller received a tweet in response that said, “if we could get rid of them, it’d be a lot better.” To which it appeared he replied, “lol.. Don’t we all wish!”
According to a report from Michael Myers of Queers4Gears.com, Fuller was leaving the track and headed to the airport when he passed this vehicle displaying the sign. Fuller, who was a contract team member for Red Bull and also Turner Motorsports, was tweeting from his personal account but the problem is that he is a representative of the sport and declared so on his account. His Twitter bio at the time stated: “#NASCAR Tire changer @redbullnascar NASCAR Nationwide Series Turner Motorsports NASCAR Truck Series."
NASCAR has a no hate policy and its rulebook declares, “A NASCAR Member shall not make or cause to be made a public statement and/or communication 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.”
Following an internal investigation by Red Bull, they issued the following statement:
”Red Bull Racing Team was made aware of comments posted to a contractor’s Twitter account following this weekend’s race. After investigating the matter, Red Bull Racing Team terminated the contractor’s employment effective immediately. The race team regularly conducts diversity training and strictly enforces our team policies against any form of discrimination. We have zero tolerance for such violations and in no way support any of the comments posted by this individual.”
Fuller spoke with Bob Pockrass of Scene Daily in the interview Red Bull crewman fired for homophobic tweets, in which he said, “It was a joke between two friends and it cost me both of my jobs. I’m not racist and I do not hate gay people. It wasn’t intended to be what [it appeared]. … I didn’t write anything about getting rid of them or 'ha ha,' or 'laughing out loud.”
NASCAR is an open door sport; fans come in all shapes, size and colors. We don’t hate one another as people. We do rival with each other competitively but that is where it ends. Hate is not tolerated in any way, intentional or not, in the NASCAR community.