Following the Daytona 500, NASCAR driver Jeremy Clements was slapped with an indefinite suspension after making a racially offensive remark in the presence of a NASCAR official and a reporter from MTV. Here's how Clements described his actions to ESPN:
"And while we're walking they started, he (MTV) started, asking me questions," Clements said. "And it wasn't recorded. We were just talking. So I said one remark about how I wouldn'..."
He stopped short.
"I can't say that part," he said.
"That's pretty much how it happened," he continued. "And even after I said what I said, they still kept asking me questions. It didn't seem like it was a big deal at all. I didn't even think twice about it, like, after. I know I shouldn't have said it. Even when I did say it, I shouldn't have said it. But I didn't think it was going to be a big deal."
And yet, nobody has been willing to reveal exactly what Clements said. His explanation to ESPN was frustratingly vague, and NASCAR is only willing to go so far as calling the remark "intolerable and insensitive."
Our friends at Jalopnik have been all over this story, and they have identified the MTV reporter who was with Clements. Marty Beckerman was covering the race for MTV's Guy Code Blog, and sent out this vaguely suggestive tweet early this morning:
Ignoring your conscience when the stakes are low creates situations where it's difficult to follow your conscience when the stakes are high.— Marty Beckerman (@martybeckerman) February 28, 2013
Breckman has told Jalopnik that he will be publishing a story about the incident shortly.
Update: We're still waiting for the MTV story, but one NASCAR media photographer is now claiming that Clements's comment was directed at a female driver, and was more sexist than racist:
Just learned what Jeremy Clements said to a reporter that got him indefinitely suspended. He made a remark towards a female driver. #NASCAR— Allen Bedgood (@Bedgood5) February 28, 2013
@itsmrsmith Not really — guess it could be taken that way, though. It was more of a sexist remark than anything.— Allen Bedgood (@Bedgood5) February 28, 2013