Perez drops sponsor over Trump joke

2016 F1 season

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Sergio Perez says he has ended his relationship with a sponsor after accusing it of mocking Mexicans on Twitter.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory in the USA, Hawkers MX suggested on Twitter that Mexicans could wear their sunglasses while building a wall between the two countries.

Perez responded to them shortly afterwards, stating: “Really bad comment”.

“Today I am breaking my relationship with Hawkers MX. I will never let anyone make fun of my country.” Hawkers has since deleted the original post and posted a series of apologies.

Formula One drivers usually steer clear of commenting on political matters. However in the run-up to the election Perez shared a photograph on Twitter of Trump at a polling station poking fun at the candidate.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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68 comments on “Perez drops sponsor over Trump joke”

  1. Good for him, great to see someone making a stand against hate, especially since Trump is pals with Mr E.

    1. since Trump is pals with Mr E

      Now that I didn’t know.

      So… “Make F1 great again!” ?

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      10th November 2016, 12:10

      I agree – mixing politics and F1 doesn’t sit right with me but this is way beyond politics and into the realm of blatant racism and I think all drivers should stand up against that.

      Most of the things Trump has said won’t be backed up with action though – they just sounded good and won him the vote. Same as the Brexit vote – lots of “facts” stated which are apparently not true now.

      That’s how you a vote against politically uneducated people – you tell them what they want to hear even if it’s impossible and they’ll vote you in. Once you’re in, it makes exactly NO difference if you stick to what you said or not.

      1. Never knew Mexicans were a new race.. Who is racistic now?

        By definition: Racism is against a race not people from a country.

        1. Definitions can and well change. “A new Pew Research Center survey of multiracial Americans finds that, for two-thirds of Hispanics, their Hispanic background is a part of their racial background – not something separate. This suggests that Hispanics have a unique view of race that doesn’t necessarily fit within the official U.S. definitions.”

        2. So they’re bigots not racists?
          I’m surprised anyone would try to hide behind such an insignificant point.

  2. Good! What a stupid thing to say.

  3. A sportsman putting morals before personal financial gain ?
    You don’t see that very often, well done that man !

    1. @beneboy I don’t think he really gets paid by the sponsor. It’s probably his team.

      1. @mashiat – Just to clarify, teams have team sponsorships, and drivers also have their own individual sponsorships. Given Perez’s tweet, it’s almost certain that this is an individual sponsorship of Perez himself, and not SFI.

  4. Trump, The American Nightmare
    Born rich, buying a presidency.. turning the White house in House of Horrors.

    1. Trump is abhorrent, but it’s unfair to suggest he bought the presidency. Good move by Perez.

    2. He spent about half as much as Clinton, so in no way bought the election. I don’t like the guy, and wouldn’t have voted for him, but that’s no reason to stoop to his level by telling lies about him.

      1. The reason he spent ‘less’ is entirely because he could at any time simply ring up Fox News MSNBN and get instantly ‘on air’ a activity afforded to no other candidate in history.

        So what your asking?

        Two respected economists estimated his free Air Time was worth $1.2 Billion.

        That’s BILLION – yes he bought the presidency – and they allowed him to…

        1. He paid that many voters? Wow. Perez should just build a bridge and get over it.

        2. As much as I HATE Trump, I must say that we got bombarded by liberal media with anti-Trump and pro-Clinton coverage daily and in much substantial way as compared to Fox. True, Clinton didn’t have to call anyone for that, but I guess we are no longer comparing actual spending, but free coverage and propaganda.

  5. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    10th November 2016, 10:26

    The love and admiration the Mexican people have for Perez was captured perfectly in a segment over GP weekend, can’t remember if it was Sky or C4 but it was really heart warming and you can see Checo becoming somewhat of a Senna-like figure to his nation should he ever start winning races and/or chamipionships regularly. It seems like he is already halfway there tbh. Much respect to him for this move.

  6. You have to respect that.

  7. Huge credit to Perez here for standing up for his country at a time when many Mexicans might feel that they need someone to do so.

  8. Well done. It was a stupid thing go say, but you have to give credit to him for not looking the other way. Money vs pride, this time the latter won, and that’s not usual…

    1. Nah, he was just looking to drop them to sign a bigger deal with Oakley.

  9. I read the title twice to be sure – my quick take was that a sponsor had dropped him for his earlier tweet about Trump/wife at the polling booth. A re-reading corrected that impression.

    That said, I’m confused – the name “Hawkers MX” and their Twitter posts in Spanish imply they are either a Mexican company, or a Mexican subsidiary. Which would put the offensive tweet more in the category of self-mockery rather than a truly offensive racist tweet.

    Nevertheless, it is cool of Perez to take a stand based on his principles.

    1. @phylyp, they are a Mexican subsidiary of a US corporation that seem to have been trying to engage in some rather poorly received self mockery.

      With regards to the row, it seems that they weren’t just joking about Trump’s pledges of a wall – they were also making jokes about how Mexicans were fearing for their lives now that Trump had been elected, something which only a handful of articles have mentioned and which seem to have been more wounding to some.

      1. @anon – fair point.

        When we know the group we’re with, like a circle of friends, we know the limits to which we can take our jokes. On the other hand, it was somewhat risky on the part of Hawkers to put up a joke on a sensitive subject (in terms of both message and timing) on a public forum where people’s reception of it can vary.

    2. @phylyp Hawkers is not an US based company, they´re from Spain, Catalunya specifically, and they expanded and sell sunglasses in Mexico. I´ve read that they signed Perez (not FI) for 40 mill dollars, and that is what Checo let go in sake of our country´s honor. These are dark hours for us Mexicans, and Checo showed some light. He´s a great kid and we are very proud.

      1. @drrapg – Cheers Ricardo, thank you for clarifying Hawkers origins. 40M USD is not pocket change, even for a midfield F1 driver, and it just adds even more to Perez’s credibility that he’s taken this step.

  10. Good on Checo for standing up. A statement like that is costing them more than just money.

    I would have tweeted that they need to build a wall in the north to stop Americans from leaving the US.
    The Canadian immigration site crashed this week. No joke.

  11. What a baby. People are allowed to make jokes. Someone or something is always the butt of the joke. That is the nature of jokes. Wearing sunglasses while you build a wall that will never exist? What is there to get upset about? Grow up and grow a pair. Good job Perez isn’t Irish or Jewish, he’d hang himself.

    1. Spot on.
      Wouldn’t be surprising if Perez simply has found out another more lucrative endorser.

    2. Perez is entitled to his opinion, even if it doesn’t agree with yours (or mine – I too feel his is an over-reaction).

      @liko41 – why would he burn bridges in such a manner?

      1. Perez is entitled of his own opinion, so am I, right?
        I don’t think he is burning so many bridges. Hawkers is not exactly a blue chip company.. I mean, they are cool, but..

        1. @liko41 – lighten up, I didn’t say or imply you weren’t 😊

    3. There is a big difference between a person making a joke or an official Twitter account of a company, especially if you have a professional relationship with them. Perez did the only right thing.

    4. you’re overlooking the fact that this is a very sensitive subject in Mexico, so why wouldn’t he feel offended? he’s the visible face of a sponsor that makes a joke about such a thing… no wonder he wants to cut ties with them.

      I don’t know how we can call this an “overreaction”. He didn’t reply back with an insult, he simply chose not to be part of that company. As he’s entitled to do…

      1. he’s the visible face of a sponsor that makes a joke about such a thing

        @fer-no65 – that is a good point. If he’d stayed quiet and if other Mexicans had taken offence at the Hawkers MX tweet, then there might have been some noise about him being sponsored by Hawkers. So, apart from his feelings, it also made tacit business sense for him to dissociate his personal brand from Hawkers.

        1. And others took offence: professional baseball team Diablo Rojos also broke up with Hawkers.

    5. petebaldwin (@)
      10th November 2016, 12:18

      People are allowed to make jokes and whilst I personally think it was a bit of an over-reaction, it’s entirely up to Perez who he wants to have sponsoring him.

      I live in Wales and to be honest, if they said they were going to build a wall between England and Wales, I imagine I’d feel a bit differently about the situation and would probably be a little more sensitive to people making jokes about it.

      1. @petebaldwin
        #bringbackoffasdyke? :P

    6. When some one cracks a joke that you will need to hide your tears as you work, as it would have to be, in slave labor, to build a wall to protect Americans against you, you can get offended. The entire proposition of the “wall,” and the argument that Mexicans would pay for it and like paying for it is itself mind-bogglingly vulgar and mean. Making a good joke, today, about that in Mexico to Mexicans would be very hard if not impossible to pull off. So forgive some people for being enraged and incredulous that a large business would try that on.

      1. Well Mexico needs a wall! At turn one of the circuit. Trump seems to be right on that one, never knew he was a F1 fan.

    7. Being politically correct is the death of humor. No need to tell people to ‘lighten up’. Everyone just wants point fingers at each other and accuse them of being a bigot.

    8. This all sounds like a roundabout way of saying he shouldn’t stand up for what he cares about, which I don’t agree with.

  12. Well done Sergio – great to see someone with the integrity to do this.

  13. Just gained even more respect for Perez. Good on him, shaming them on social media for an insensitive joke and dropping them as a sponsor, putting his morals before his money. I like that.

  14. The post went something along the lines of they can wear these sunglasses to cover their crying eyes as they build the wall.

    A joke I can understand some taking as insensitive but I don’t necessarily think Mexicans are the butt of the joke but rather the ludicrous notion that the wall could be built without Mexican labour.

    Fair play to Perez if it made him uncomfortable being associated with them anymore, but I think it’s important not to overreact to something that was insensitive rather than actually insulting.

    1. I don’t know who the they are meant to be. I thought “when [the USA] builds the wall.”

      Which would make it less offensive in my book. But still, to end your professional relation about a joke only shows you lack of humour.
      Why not retord with something like “hey save some for yourself because the crying will be on your side”

      1. “We don’t need your sunglasses, got a sombrero”

  15. I live in Australia so if anyone wants to build a wall around us, well that’s fine, it will take a while.
    Like others I prefer to talk F1 to politics but here we have the USA as our main ally (and Security) and China our main trading partner- so we are right in the middle of two big brothers! Hmmmmm……

    For Checo we cant judge his comments too much as we don’t know if he was offended or defending his country. Either way he was right to defend his country as with all the comments with the USA election Checo is looked up to and made the right choice here, but maybe a quick call from his management to say take it down is easier.

  16. The inappropriate tweet is in fact “Mexicans, wear those sunglasses so they won’t notice your swollen eyes tomorrow during the construction of the wall”.

    For me it was just a bad joke, I wouldn’t end a contract because of that, but Perez is entitled to feel offended.

    1. Noticed that, too. The originals tweet said something like “[…] en la construcción del muro” which makes fun of Trump’s plan of the construction of the wall itself and doesn’t imply who would be building it. The English translation made it sound much worse than probably intended.

  17. People , people, people this is how marketing is handled nowadays, they just want people to now their product. its all about the money guys . (set up)

  18. Checo has just gained so much respect from me for taking a stand…

  19. The irony is that I came here specifically to give my mind a needed rest from thinking about the election in my country, and possibly to taper off my resulting migraine, but now I’m back in a terrible funk. Thanks Keith! (/jk)

    1. @dmw @ianbond001 – you can run but you can’t hide 😁

    2. @dmw Awww, poor you. Here is Checo taking a principled stance against the monstrous treatment of his country and fellow Mexicans by a billionaire American bully. When he should have thinking about how poor little DaveW may be feeling about it all.

  20. I come to this site to forget about Trump’s election and this is what i find…. we’re stuck with him; for at least 4 years.

  21. Antoon van Gemert
    10th November 2016, 14:18

    First off all I never heared of the brand and second it was really a bad joke. Not because of the subject, but in general a bad joke, not funny at all! The American people have spoken and Donald J. Trump is the next president of the United States. Deal with it, it’s called democracy!

    1. Antoon van Gemert, I guess that some just find it peculiar that Trump could win a fairly comprehensive victory despite the fact that Clinton had a 0.2% higher share of the national vote, or around 230,000 more votes, than Trump did. In terms of the number of votes cast, it could be said that the American people voted for Clinton, not Trump.

      1. Antoon van Gemert
        11th November 2016, 14:17

        Well Anon, that really doesn’t matter, because that is not the American vote system. As you know it’s all about ‘electoral votes per state’ who decide who wins the presidency. The first who reach 270 electoral votes is the new President of the United States. Donald Trump won fair and square by quite a margin.

        It’s quite funny, but you can almost compare the American vote system with the rules of racing, because the driver who first sees the finish-flag is the winner of the Grand Prix and not the driver who lead for the most laps!

        By the way, Donald Trump is gonna be a fine President and that wall will never be build……

        1. Antoon van Gemert, that presumably will depend on him winning the ongoing lawsuit into the Trump university fraud case, which it has been confirmed that he will now have to provide testimony in when it kicks off at the end of this month (Trump’s lawyers have delayed the case for six years now, but the judge has refused to let them postpone it any longer).

          1. Antoon van Gemert
            11th November 2016, 19:01

            Well Anon, I guess his opponents will now try everything, because they couldn’t win it in a democratic way…….let’s wait and see.

  22. The whole country it’s pretty worried about this election, it’s really no time to make jokes, Perez has earned even more respect and admiration form Mexicans.

  23. You can either be a man and ignore such silly remarks or be a delicate snowflake and take offence in everything that’s different to your views. Unfortunately, it’s the latter that’s such a common trait among generation-Y.

  24. You can tell the educated silent Trump supporters are calling Perez a baby. I say good for you Perez lead by example. Senna would have probably done the same.

  25. The funny thing is, Mexicans themselves want to build a wall to keep people from Guatemala and Honduras from coming to Mexico.

  26. Everyone has gone bonkers. It’s unbelievable. Everyone’s wrong.

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