Yesterday NSACAR announced that they had suspended driver Jeremy Clements “indefinitely” after he used an “insensitive” remarks during an interview this past weekend. MTV revealed that the insensitive mark was indeed a racial slur, as Clements uttered the ‘n-word’ to reporter Marty Beckerman, but the network insisted the driver used the word in reference to driving and not in reference to a fellow driver or fan.
According to MTV, Beckerman was attending the NASCAR event for a ‘fish-out-of-water’ story for the TV Show Guy Code, “a show that takes a humorous look at ‘The Laws of Manhood’” and wandered into one of the uglier scandals in recent NASCAR history.
Beckerman explained to MTV that Clements was being asked for help in finding driver Johanna Long’s trailer when he casually blurted out the slur.
“I was there to do a fish-out-of-water story about going to NASCAR and having a wild, crazy weekend. And, we were doing interviews with many of the drivers, and I was on the way to another interview — we were looking for [driver] Johanna Long’s trailer — and the NASCAR publicist called Mr. Clements over and asked him for help finding her. He walked us toward where she was, and on the way over, I explained to him that Guy Code is rules for guys, how you treat your friends, how you treat your ladies, things like that. I was there to do a humor piece, so I asked him what would be Guy Code for race car drivers, and he blurted out [a phrase that used the n-word].”
A NSACAR publicist was present when the slur was used. The slur was apparently just casually dropped into the conversation, but while it wasn’t used as a description of a fellow driver or fan, Beckerman says Clements used the slur “to illustrate ‘if you drive roughly, you’ll be treated roughly’”.
You can fill in the racist undertones of the implications made in that statement by Clements. While Beckerman was the only reporter Clements said the slur to, he told MTV that it was NASCAR’s decision to suspend Clements before anything had been written about the story.
“We had not even intended to necessarily publish it, because our site is a humor site for men, we aren’t the New York Times, we aren’t investigative journalism. It didn’t fit with our blog,” Beckerman said. “The fact is that NASCAR made this a national story, and then Clements explained a bit of what he said to ESPN … I never wanted to be part of the story.”
There is no timetable for Clements reinstatement form suspension, but given the utter stupidity and lack of human emotion he showed when he casually dropped a devastating and violent slur into a conversation the way he did, don’t be surprised if Clements is out for a very long time.