FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – In January, Dave Muzzillo announced his plans to restart the engines at Baer Field Speedway after it suddenly shut down in 2014, promising to make it more family-friendly. Now, a derogatory Facebook post may have derailed those plans.Full interview | Click here to watch Adam Widener’s uncut interview with Dave Muzzillo
Muzzillo appears to have shared a picture on his personal, yet public, Facebook timeline Wednesday night. It said “2 ni*****s and a stolen truck: ‘We move your s**t like it was our’s.”Click here to see the un-blurred picture Muzzillo shared on his Facebook page.
An anonymous viewer first showed NewsChannel 15 the post Thursday morning. After Muzzillo was asked about the post, he deleted it and posted an apology which read:
“I apologize for re-posting a picture so at this time I have made the decision that I will be deleting my personal fb account at 6 tonight. I did not realize what I said on my personal fb site would jeopardize anything that I do with ICar.”<
The apology was later removed as well.
Face-to-face, Muzzillo offered little in the way of remorse.
“At the time I posted it, I was laughing so hard that I actually took the computer downstairs and showed the wife,” Muzzillo said of his reaction when he first saw a friend post the picture that was making its way around Facebook.
“So I just re-shared it… it came from a friend of mine which is actually African American,” Muzzillo explained. He says he never expected anyone to perceive the post as racist.
When asked if he had any remorse for sharing the photo, Muzzillo said “not really, because it was funny.” Yet just moments after saying that, Muzzillo said that he now looked at the post in “a different way.”
Repeatedly, Muzzillo insisted that the post was meant as a joke, not a racist comment. But African-American leaders in Fort Wayne weren’t laughing.
“[This is] clearly inappropriate, wrong, and insensitive. But he shared it on his Facebook page and he had a right to do it if he chose to,” said Jonathan Ray with the Fort Wayne Urban League.
Fort Wayne NAACP President Larry Gist said comments like that should not be coming from business leaders in the Fort Wayne community.
“It can’t be a joke if you’re a businessperson,” Gist said. “So what kind of business are you going to open up? Or what are you trying to tell the public–who’s invited and who’s not invited?”
Fort Wayne City Councilman Glynn Hines called the post offensive and said those types of comments, especially from business leaders, don’t belong in the community.
Muzzillo, who is also president of International Championship Auto Racing (ICar), is threatening to put the brakes on his plans for Baer Field following the Facebook backlash.
“Well, if this keeps up like this, and I’m going to delete my personal Facebook site, obviously what I say anymore goes way beyond context,” he said. “Yeah it just – [Baer Field] might not open. I’m really really upset about this whole thing.”