NASCAR driver Josh Reaume has been suspended indefinitely from the sport after posting a photo of a Toaster Strudel pastry on Snapchat. Fans and critics said a drawing made of icing on the pastry appeared to be in the shape of a swastika.
The swastika, an anti-Semitic symbol, was used as a centerpiece in the 1920 Nazi flag designed by Adolf Hitler.
Reaume, 30, has said multiple times that he did not intend to depict the symbol on his pastry.
“I was mindlessly putting icing on a Toaster Strudel, thinking about how I was going to arrange to get my daughter to day care in the morning because that’s my responsibility, and I was flying out to Phoenix the next day,” Reaume said, according to Yahoo Sports.
“When I was done, I took a picture. I wrote, ‘Snack time,’ and posted it to my Snapchat, which I had no idea it was even more than my immediate friend group," he said. “There was not a bone in my body that had an intent of doing that."
NASCAR officials announced Tuesday that Reaume was suspended for an unspecified amount of time. The organization said he violated a rule in the NASCAR Rule Book that prohibits “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.”
Reaume issued an apology via Twitter this week insisting the symbol was drawn unintentionally and offering condolences for those who were affected by the Holocaust. He later deleted his account after receiving continued criticism. In an interview, he said he has no plans to use social media in the immediate future.
He will have to complete sensitivity training before he can compete again.
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