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« Jeremy Clements suspended by NASCAR for violation of ‘Code of Conduct’ | Main | This Week Begins the Real Test for NASCAR’s Gen-6 Car »

Maybe NASCAR was right to not publish what Jeremy Clements said

By admin | February 27, 2013

 Jeremy Clements has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR

By Richard Allen

On Wednesday evening, NASCAR announced that it has suspended Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements indefinitely for violation of the sanctioning body’s ‘Code of Conduct’. According to the full statement put out by NASCAR, the driver made an ”intolerable and insensitive remark” during an interview.

Upon the announcement, a number of people took to Twitter and other sources of social media to guess at what Clements might have said since that “intolerable and insensitive remark” was not revealed. There was plenty of speculation but very little actual substance.

Many seemed to come to Clements’ defense and stated their belief that NASCAR should divulge exactly what was said. Their argument was that if suspension was warranted, the people have the right to know what it was that had been deemed worthy of such punishment. And perhaps that is true.

However, NASCAR is not a democracy nor do the same rights granted to citizens in most public circumstances necessarily apply to the drivers and officials within their “family”. In the same way that any employee may be held accountable by his/her employer, a NASCAR driver can not be allowed to make statements that portray their “company” in a negative light.

That is not to say I believe drivers shouldn’t be allowed to criticize rules or judgements made regarding the racing itself. If Clements was suspended for saying that he believed the racing at Daytona was bad then I would be quick to call NASCAR wrong both for suspending him and for not releasing the contents of his statement.

However, what if the statement made by the driver in question was a racially insensitve remark? What if the remark had been derogatory toward or encouraged violence against women? What if it had been some crude comment made about those fans who were injured during Saturday’s Nationwide Series event? (ESPN.com is reporting that it was indeed a racial slur that was used.)

There are some statements that should not be repeated.

Later, Clements himself placed this statement on his Facebook page which provided an apology but offered little insight as to what was said:

“I apologize and regret what I said to the NASCAR writer and to NASCAR, my sponsors, my fans, and my team. NASCAR has a Code of Conduct that everyone must follow and I unintentionally violated that code. I will not get into specifics of what I said but my comment to the writer was in no way meant to be disrespectful or insensitive to anyone or to be detrimental to NASCAR or the NASCAR Nationwide Series. I will do what I need to do in order to atone for my error in judgment.”

NASCAR will determine what it is that Clements must do to regain his status as an approved driver.

Anyone who has spent very much time reading the content of this blog knows that this writer is not one who commonly takes the NASCAR sanctioning body’s side on very many issues. And if/when all the facts come out, I may not on this one either. But not knowing for sure what was said, I am not willing to throw the officials involved in this decision under the bus just yet.

We all make mistakes. Maybe in a moment of indiscretion, Jeremy Clements said something that should not be repeated. If that’s the case, then NASCAR was right not to publish what was said.

*Note: All if this above being said, I did have to make several lame attempts at humor on Twitter myself. If Clements was suspended for any comment like those I made up, NASCAR was in the wrong.

 

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9 Responses to “Maybe NASCAR was right to not publish what Jeremy Clements said”

  1. Russ Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    We can all imagine any number of comments or statements that a person should not make. And they certainly should not be encouraged to make them.
    However, to not reveal what the remark was, and at the same time suspending the speaker to me seems to be the worst of both worlds.
    Not to mention the fact that Nascar claims that drivers etc. are independent contractors, while acting as if they were employees is a bit difficult to understand.

  2. midasmicah Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I’ve heard different accounts as to what he said. I’ll withhold judgement until I actually hear what he said. nas$car is notorious for censoring drivers for comments they make.

  3. Sue Rarick Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I was just reading elsewhere that the comment was said right after the crash Saturday and right after Clement’s got out of his car.

    Anyone that has ever competed in anything other than some itermural sport is fully aware that there are some really nasty things said in the heat of compitition that really shouldn’t have been said. My bet is that there are enough racial slurs made in the middle of a college or pro football game to get every player on both teams suspended. The players aren’t racist, just really annoyed and all the other players know this. Reporters that are near enough to the players during a game also know that and just let the comments slide. Then we have Nascar.

  4. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 10:50 am

    NASCAR is doing nothing but damaging the reputation of the driver by withholding what was said. Which may be their goal.

  5. Michael in SoCal Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I did read a few of your Twitter comments, and they were funny! The first one I read was the Brian France left the track half way through the race. It had me going, until I read the next couple comments.

  6. Michael Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I guess my biggest question or concerns are, if it wasn’t published then how is it a “public” statement and if NASCAR doesn’t say what he was punished for then other drivers are walking on eggshells never knowing what is and what isn’t punishable.

    It’s a catch 22, if it was really inflamatory then publishing it does more harm than good, but at the same time NASCAR may do more harm and draw more bad attention to the organization by not disclosing. Most anyone that follows racing is aware of NASCAR’s propensity for backroom dealing and not being as open about things as they should.

  7. kevin Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    any time public comments are withheld it only leads to more questions and conspiracy’s etc.he said it ,make it public and lets move on.nascar can not hide what was said so it can protect it’s self from criticism.

    if it was rascist ,maybe we can all learn from it so as a country we can move on to more important things.

  8. Opti Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I’d like to know who the snitching reporter was as well as the comment.

    Media people who want to be drama queens at any opportunity should not be given press passes.

    Surely most of the media contingent have heard drivers and team members say some terrible things after big race incidents, yet they know it’s a heat of the moment thing.

    Not surprised a snitch reporter would be too cowardly to identify themselves.

  9. Tony Geinzer Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I wonder even though I don’t want to call spades spades, I wonder if Clements Ill Timed Comments will cause damage long term? I wonder beyond the hype, if Driver Disclipline has been more backpedaled and negotiable in the last few years?

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