Former Highlands resident and driver Josh Reaume was suspended by NASCAR this week following a social media post that violated rules which govern members’ conduct and prohibit discriminatory public statements.
On Tuesday (Nov. 10), NASCAR officials released a statement that explained that Reaume, 30, had been “issued an indefinite suspension” for violating two sections of the organization’s rule book.
“NASCAR officials confirmed that the behavioral penalty stemmed from a recent post Reaume made on social media, without revealing the specific nature of its content,” the statement read.
Reaume was accused of breaching two sections of the rule book which pertain to “general disciplinary action” and the specifics of member behaviour.
Officials explained that the conduct guidelines can be violated by a member who “criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, colour, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age or handicapping condition.”
Bill Okell, a Saanich-based race car driver who covers auto racing results and local drivers for Island media, explained that the 30-year-old NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck series driver shared an apology to his Twitter account – which has since been deactivated – after news of his suspension was made public.
In the apology post, Reaume explained that he’d been suspended as a result of a post the previous Thursday which included a photo of his “evening snack.” He said the photo was “taken out of context” and “never meant to offend anybody and [he’s] sorry if it did.”
Reaume added that he lived in West Africa for 13 years and that both his family and his racing team are “ethnically diverse.”
Reaume did not detail the content of the offending post, but Okell said the photo allegedly included a pastry with a swastika in icing.
“His penalty for the indefinite suspension has not been determined yet, but will most probably require him to attend and complete their NASCAR Road to Recovery Program,” Okell explained, adding that NASCAR could also issue a fine or remove owner points.
The suspension bans Reaume from attending any member events and the duration is “up to NASCAR’s discretion,” though based on past incidents with drivers who’ve been suspended for making discriminatory comments, Okell expects it could last up to nine months.
According to his website, Reaume graduated from the University of Victoria with a mechanical engineering degree and works as both a driver and an engineer for his team, Reaume Brothers Racing. Per NASCAR’s statement, the team entered at least two trucks in every Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series event over the 2020 season.