THE trainer banned for giving a racehorse a racist name has insisted he ‘did nothing wrong’.
Eric Guillot sparked fury when he named a runner Grape Soda – a derogatory term for a drink stereotypically associated with black people.Guillot has been banned from racing after giving a horse a racist name but insists he did nothing wrong[/caption] TV analyst Rudulph was the target of the racial slur – he branded Guillot a ‘disgusting man’[/caption]
Guillot, a trainer of 30 years who has won more than £9.6million on the track, has now also blamed the target of the slur for starting their feud.
Horse racing analyst Ken Rudulph, a black commentator for American network TVG, had the horse named in his ‘honour’, according to Guillot.
Rudulph branded Guillot a ‘disgusting and racist man’ after it became clear he was the trainer following the horse’s win in a race at Aqueduct track in New York last Friday.
But speaking to Paulickreport.com, Guillot slammed ‘pompous’ Rudulph and accused him of playing ‘the racist card’.
Asked why he gave the horse the name, Guillot said: “I was just teasing him [Rudulph]. It wasn’t meant in a harmful way.
“I did nothing wrong but be a common comedian, and my skin’s a little too light to be joking about grape sodas.
“If Chris Rock or David Chappelle had said it, it would be OK.
“He [Rudulph] is the most privileged black person I know.
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“He plays the 180-degree Black Lives Matter racist card and is as condescending as you get.
“It has nothing to do with me being racist.
“This is what he wanted. I just fuelled the fire is what I did.”
Guillot, who no longer intends to train horses anywhere, has since sparked further controversy online.
He tweeted a photo of himself going to pick up a bottle of grape soda with the caption: “Oh no I didn’t.”
Angry fans hit out at his actions with one branding him a ‘piece of s***’.
The horse has since been named Respect For All.
Guillot had previousy claimed he named the horse ‘after my favourite drink when I was a little boy’.
Racing chiefs were united in their condemnation of Guillot.
The Jockey Club, who look after the registry of horses in the US, banned the trainer.
New York Racing Association president Dave O’Rourke said: “NYRA rejects Eric Guillot’s toxic words and divisive behaviour in the strongest terms.
“At this time, he will no longer be permitted to enter horses at any NYRA track nor will he be allocated stalls on NYRA grounds.
“Our racing community is diverse, and we stand for inclusion.”
A TVG statement read: “TVG commends NYRA for taking swift action on the matter involving Eric Guillot.
“There is simply no place in society for racism and we condemn this behaviour, a deliberate attempt to slur one of our employees, in the strongest terms.
“Our network will no longer air races in which he has an entry.
“We also commend the action by new owner Larry Roman to change the horse’s name.
“We will continue to work toward making racing more inclusive and to attracting a new generation of fans to the sport.”
This is the second race shame to hit the sport in as many months after a horse named after a racial slur was allowed to run at Wolverhampton in December.