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Brazilian court orders Nelson Piquet to pay nearly £780k for racist and homophobic comments against Hamilton



Piquet racist homophobic Hamilton

Brazilian racing driver Nelson Piquet has been ordered to pay nearly £780,000 by a Brazilian court for his use of racist and homophobic language against seven-time Formula One world champion, Lewis Hamilton.

A Brazilian court has directed Nelson Piquet to pay nearly £780,000 as a penalty for making racist and homophobic remarks regarding Lewis Hamilton. Piquet had been previously found guilty last year for using a particular word during a Portuguese-language interview in late 2021 while commenting on the incident between Hamilton, the only Black driver in Formula One, and Max Verstappen at Silverstone that year.

Despite attempting to apologize, Nelson Piquet’s use of the word “neguinho” during the interview, which can be translated to “little Black man,” was found to be offensive. Piquet claimed that the word was misinterpreted, but additional footage emerged where he used the same term and homophobic language against Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula One world champion.

Human rights organizations, including Brazil’s National LGBT+ Alliance, filed a lawsuit against Piquet and sought compensation of 10 million Brazilian Reals. Piquet, who has been banned from the F1 paddock, was the target of the lawsuit due to his use of racist and homophobic language towards Lewis Hamilton.

On Friday, the court reached a verdict and ordered Piquet to pay half of the requested compensation, which amounts to five million Brazilian Reals or approximately £779,310. The ruling was made in response to the lawsuit filed against Piquet by human rights organizations for his use of racist and homophobic language towards Lewis Hamilton, resulting in his ban from the F1 paddock.

According to a report by Reuters, Judge Pedro Matos de Arruda justified the compensation amount by stating that it serves both a reparative and punitive function. The compensation awarded to the human rights organizations in the lawsuit against Piquet is not only meant to provide reparations but also to punish Piquet for his actions. The judge stated that this is necessary so that society can eventually eliminate the harmful and discriminatory acts of racism and homophobia.

Last year, Lewis Hamilton was bestowed with honorary Brazilian citizenship. When Piquet’s initial derogatory comments regarding him were brought to light, Hamilton condemned the use of such “archaic mindsets.”