Following backlash for saying the n-word during a virtual racing event online, NASCAR driver Kyle Larson has released a video apologizing for using the racial slur.
“I just want to say I’m sorry,” he said. ”Last night, I made a mistake and said the word that should never ever be said, and there’s no excuse for that.”
Not only has he faced backlash since the video, but the Larson has since been fired.
“I wasn’t raised that way, and it’s just an awful thing to say,” he continued. “I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community, and especially the African-American community.”
The moment caught on camera saw Larson’s failure to communicate with the other drivers, which prompted him to say, “You can’t hear me? Hey, n****r.”
“I understand the damage is probably unrepairable, and I own up to that. I just want to let you all know how sorry I am, and I hope everybody is staying safe during these crazy times,” he added in his apology.
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On Monday, Nascar, as well as his Chip Ganassi Racing team, released statements, announcing the driver’s subsequent suspensions.
“We are extremely disappointed about 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,” the team said in a statement.
“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 company added in a separate statement. “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.”
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) April 13, 2020
But on Tuesday, the team moved to remove Larson altogether, one day after several sponsors dropped the driver over the word.
“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” Ganassi said. “As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of our organization. As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take.”
However, this hasn’t come as a shock to many as an old tweet from Larson (who is part Japanese) has surfaced, as he is responding to a fan asking which NFL team is his favorite. “Anyone that stands,” he said, in reference to Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to racial inequality and police brutality.
Any one that stands
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) June 18, 2018