Verstappen slur cited in dictionary definition change campaign

Max Verstappen's Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix radio slurs have been cited in a charity's campaign for improved dictionary definitions for the word "Mongol".

Verstappen slur cited in dictionary definition change campaign
Listen to this article

During the second practice session at the Portimao event, Verstappen made contact with Lance Stroll at Turn 1, leading the Red Bull driver to brand the Canadian a "retard" and a "mongol" over the radio.

Verstappen's comments were heavily criticised, and the charity Mongol Identity sought an apology from the Dutch driver over his radio comments.

Although Verstappen later said he "didn't mean to offend anyone", various groups demanded a full apology from him – including Lundeg Purevsuren, Mongolia's Ambassador to the UN.

Purevsuren also wrote to the FIA over Verstappen's "racist and derogatory" language, and sought for the FIA to take a firmer stance against his language.

Read Also:

In honour of this week's recognised International Day of Education, Mongol Identity has unveiled a campaign – citing Verstappen's radio comments – to ask dictionary publishers to redefine and clarify the definition of the word "Mongol".

"Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen caused uproar when he called a rival a 'Mongol'," said a statement from Mongol Identity.

"The social media response which followed showed that many had no idea why this use of the word Mongol was offensive and saw it merely as interchangeable for 'idiot'.

"There was little recognition that using the term as an insult is both deeply racist and discriminatory."

"When Max Verstappen made his comments, we found a lot of people on social media were saying 'Mongol is in the dictionary and it means someone who is stupid or someone who has Down's Syndrome'.

"Mongol Identity aims to work with dictionary publishers to ensure that the definitions provided are clear and complete."

Although one of the official demonyms of the nation of Mongolia, the word Mongol has historically been used to identify people of ethnic Mongolian heritage.

Following the first descriptions of Down's Syndrome by John Langdon Down, he initially published a paper entitled "Observations of an Ethnic Classification of Idiots" - and later coined the term "Mongoloidism" for people affected.

This based on his observations that people with Down's Syndrome had similar features to those with East Asian ethnicity – long before the real cause was identified as an extra 21st chromosome.

Down's theory has since been discredited and is now considered highly offensive; although Down later rescinded that theory, the term "Mongoloidism" remained in use by the World Health Organisation until 1965.

However, the word Mongol has remained in use, spuriously employed as a derogatory term.

Author Uuganaa Ramsay, the director of Mongol Identity, has asked for dictionaries to remove references to the use of 'Mongol' as a pejorative.

'We want publishers to consider what they put in their definitions," said Ramsay.

"For example, if a dictionary is for language learners, is it really necessary to include in a definition of Mongol reference to Down's Syndrome as this is archaic, or to stupidity as this is racist, ablest and offensive?"

shares
comments

Related video

What Button can offer Williams upon his surprise F1 return
Previous article

What Button can offer Williams upon his surprise F1 return

Next article

Button returns to Williams F1 team as senior advisor

Button returns to Williams F1 team as senior advisor
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Prime

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year.

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Prime

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022