Mexican F1 driver Sergio Perez dumps sponsor over controversial Trump tweet
Sunglass firm Hawkers joked that Mexicans should hide their tears by wearing shades as they build the wall
F1 driver Sergio Perez has dumped one of his sponsors over a joke about his home country Mexico following the election of Donald Trump.
In a now-deleted tweet, the sunglasses company Hawkers said Mexicans should don a pair of shades to hide their "crying eyes" when they are "building the wall".
One of the US president-elect's most controversial campaign pledges was to construct a wall on the border between the two countries to keep out immigrants.
Perez, who replaced Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2013 but now drives for Force India, called the joke a "very bad comment" and announced he was ending his association with the eyewear company, which also has deals with Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez and sponsors the LA Lakers NBA team.
"I will never let anyone make fun of my country," he said.
"The relationship between Perez and Hawkers is only weeks old, the brand having released its Perez-edition glasses on 2 November for a price of 725 Mexican pesos [around 29 pounds]," says the website Motorsport.com.
The company deleted the offending tweet, which appeared on its Mexican account, after Perez expressed his outrage. Hawkers followed up the tweet with a series of apologies, admitting it had made a "grave mistake". The Perez branding was still on the company's Twitter account on Thursday.
Although the tweet was "tongue in cheek" it was in "poor taste", says PitPass.com. Other bloggers have voiced their support for the F1 driver.
"It's not at all surprising that Perez would find any joke about Mexicans being forced to build a wall by the US inappropriate for any of his sponsors to be making," says the website Jalopnik. "And it's nice to see he's not willing to take any sort of s*** like that from the people that pay the bills."