Motorsport

Perez dumps sponsor over Trump tweet

2016-11-11 12:00
Sergio Perez (Gallo Images)

Sao Paulo - Formula One driver Sergio Perez has dumped his sponsor, Hawkers sunglasses, for a tweet in which they mocked Mexicans after the triumph of US president-elect Donald Trump.

The Hawkers tweet encouraged Perez' countrymen to purchase their sunglasses to hide their crying eyes while they build the wall which Trump had promised to force Mexico to build between the two countries.

The offending post said: “Mexicans, put on these sunglasses so your eyes don't swell when you are building the wall tomorrow…”

In response, Force India driver Perez said he was ending his association with the brand which had only began sponsoring him this month.

"I'll never let anyone mock my country!" Perez wrote on Twitter.

Perez spoke about the affair later in Brazil ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix at Interlagos.

"I decided to split with them. I think it was a very unfortunate comment about my country.

"It's not fully related to the brand. It’s mainly the community manager, but I have decided to split with the brand because I'm not in favour at all of those comments.

"I didn't see a reason and didn't find it funny at all so we are working on an agreement to split. 

"I feel sorry because it's a great brand, but I'm not willing to stay there because I think the brand must be in charge of the community manager -- and I didn't find it funny at all.”

Hawkers were also blasted by the team with the most baseball titles in the Mexican league - Diablos Rojos del Mexico -  who also responded via Twitter: "Our # passion for Mexico comes above all, from now on products will no longer be available in our shop".

Hawkers Mexico later apologised: "We have made a serious mistake ... it will not happen again."

Perez said that Hawkers had started production of 20 000 pairs of sunglasses with his branding.

“They did my sunglasses and we had just started the relationship," he added. "They were going to do 20 000 sunglasses under my name.

“They are very sorry and I'm very sorry too. 

"As I said before, it's a great brand. I know the owners and they've done incredibly well and I think the relationship was going to be very successful, but it offends my country, my people and I won't let anyone make fun of my country.”

Perez, 26, graduated from a childhood karting career, and has been sponsored by the richest businessman in Mexico, Carlos Slim, since the age of 15 years.

Read more on:    sergio perez  |  us 2016 elections  |  f1
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