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UPDATE: The word is out. In an MTV blog published this morning, reporter Marty Beckerman gives his side of the story. In it, he says Clements said the “N” word, not specifically in response to a driver but in describing something. The reporter was unsure whether he would even print the comment, claiming NASCAR has made this story a national one.
As word of Jeremy Clements’ NASCAR suspension spread on Thursday, for violating the sport’s Code Of Conduct policy, the natural question resulting from it remained unanswered.
Just what did he say?
Clements certainly isn’t telling, at least not yet. During a Thursday morning interview, with ESPN’s Marty Smith Clements acknowledged a racial slur was uttered in the presence of a NASCAR official and a reporter from MTV. The driver, at first was simply playing the role of giving directions, showing the reporter where Johanna Long’s transporter was so he could meet up with her for a story.
“And while we’re walking they started, he [the MTV reporter] started, asking me questions,” Clements said to Smith. “And it wasn’t recorded. We were just talking. So I said one remark about how I wouldn’t …”
“I can’t say that part.”
What remains unsaid is what NASCAR is calling an “intolerable and insensitive” remark that will warrant, according to sources a minimum two-week suspension (it is currently listed as “indefinite”) along with some form of sensitivity training.
What we do know is the MTV reporter, confirmed as Marty Beckerman had some role in verifying those statements. Beckerman, who told the Frontstretch directly earlier today a statement would be released soon still has not spoken on the record about the incident at press time. The closest anyone’s gotten from him is this eerie Tweet, sent Wednesday from his Twitter account:
“Ignoring your conscience when the stakes are low creates situations where it’s difficult to follow your conscience when the stakes are high.”
A late-night connection with Beckerman was followed by no further comment and a referral to MTV’s Senior Communications Staff. They have not responded to an email for details as of 11 PM ET. As for the NASCAR official in question, the sanctioning body will not release the name but David Higdon, the sport’s Managing Director Of Integrated Marketing Communications did have the following Tweet on the date of the incident, issuing a warm welcome to a number of new reporters at the track – MTV’s Beckerman among them.
A big #NASCAR welcome also to
johnlewinski, trojae. Follow these folks all weekend!
Charles Lewandoski, a longtime friend of Clement’s is now on the entry list in the No. 51 car. The 27-year-old Lewandoski, who has 26 career starts to his credit attempted five Nationwide races in 2012, finishing none in mostly start-and-park equipment.
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