NASCAR driver Kyle Larson (27) has been fired from his Chip Ganassi Racing team, after six years, for using the N-word during a virtual race held on Sunday (April 12).
Chip Ganassi Racing released a statement regarding the driver. “We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing Event. The words that he chose to use are offensive and unacceptable. As of this moment we are suspending Kyle without pay while we work through this situation with all appropriate parties.”
They later released a statement severing ties.
“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” the statement reads. “As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of out organization. As we continue to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only course of action to take.”
During live-streamed iRacing tournament, held on the gaming platform Twitch, Kyle was heard using the offensive word. During the event Kyle lost communication. He was checking his connection when he said, “I can’t see it. You can’t hear me? Hey [n-word].” Soon after another person made him aware he was heard by everyone at the event.
Statement regarding Kyle Larson: pic.twitter.com/s340nc7eN9
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) April 13, 2020
Following the incident many sponsors, including McDonald’s, dropped Kyle and severed relationships. Soon after NASCAR suspended Kyle.
“NASCAR has made diversity and inclusion a priority and will not tolerate the type of language used by Kyle Larson during Sunday’s iRacing event,” the statement read. “Our Member Conduct Guidelines are clear in this regard, and we will enforce these guidelines to maintain an inclusive environment for our entire industry and fan base.”
Kyle took to Instagram to apologize for his actions.
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“I just want to say I’m sorry. Last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said. And there’s no excuse for that,” said Larson. “There is no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. It’s an awful thing to say. I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and especially the African American community. I understand that the damage is probably unrepairable. I own up to that. I just wanted to let you all know how sorry I am.”
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 13, 2020