Kyle Larson: "There's no excuse" for using racial slur
Kyle Larson issued a video apology Monday afternoon for the use of a racial slur during a live-streamed virtual racing event on Sunday night.
“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. I wasn’t raised that way. It’s just an awful thing to say,” Larson said in the 42-second video clip.
“I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and especially the African-American community. I know the damage is probably unrepairable and I own up to that.
“I just wanted to let you all know how sorry I am and I hope everybody is staying safe during these crazy times.”
Both NASCAR and his Chip Ganassi Racing team suspended Larson on Monday for his use of a racial slur during the live-stream of a virtual race on Sunday evening.
Larson was competing in an iRacing event Sunday night, “Monza Madness,” featuring more than 60 entries and put together by fellow drivers Landon Cassill and Garrett Smithley, when he appeared to lose communication on his headset with his spotter during the pre-race practice session.
Larson was broadcasting his participation on his Twitch live stream and during a check of his microphone, he said, “You can't hear me?” That was followed by, “Hey …” and the N-word.
Those also on his channel chimed in, with “Wow” and “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud,” “Yep, we heard that” and “Yikes.”
NASCAR will have Larson attend sensitivity training and said in a statement Monday. CGR also said it was suspending Larson without pay while it works “through this situation with all appropriate parties.”
In 2013, NASCAR indefinitely suspended driver Jeremy Clements, who competes in what is now the Xfinity Series, for using a racial slur in an interview. He ended up missing two races and took part in diversity training before being reinstated.
Larson’s issue came one week after driver Bubba Wallace lost a sponsor for abruptly quitting an official NASCAR virtual racing event that was televised live nationally. He had been involved in three accidents in the first 12 laps of the 150-lap event and had already used up his two “resets.”
NASCAR and Ganassi suspend Kyle Larson for racial slur
Chip Ganassi Racing fires Kyle Larson over use of racial slur