After an investigation that spanned over a month, NBC has concluded that NBCSN IndyCar analyst Paul Tracy didn’t write an offensive Facebook post, and they’ve decided to sign him to a new deal. Back in early November, Indianapolis resident Chris Cunningham told The Indianapolis Star that a political discussion led to an account under Tracy’s name telling Cunningham (in response to remarks about those seeking asylum in the U.S.) “No I have invited them all to a party at your house to listen to you play the mini guitar then they are going to rape your wife then you.” Cunningham had mutual friends with Tracy and had previously spoken with the account holder privately, believing it was Tracy, but Tracy insisted that it was someone impersonating him; he later switched his claim to say that it was his account, but that it had been hacked. And as per Dana Hunsinger Benbow of the Star, NBC has now agreed with that conclusion and renewed Tracy’s contract:
“We conducted a thorough investigation of this matter over the past two months, and given the current evidence have concluded that Paul did not write the offensive post,” NBC said in a statement. “Per this conclusion, Paul will continue with our team for the upcoming 2019 season.”
…When sent a screenshot of the exchange by IndyStar at the time, Tracy said he was the victim of fake social media accounts. On Thursday, he released a statement through NBC saying it was his account, but it had been hacked.
“A few months ago, an offensive social media post was written in my name. I said at the time that I never wrote the post and I’m reiterating that now. I did not write it,” he said. “I was the victim of some type of hack, although I’ll likely never know the culprit. It sickens me to know that my account was used for this, and my heart goes out to everyone who read it, especially those directly involved in the discussion.”
…Tracy said that since he learned of the offensive post “I have been in constant communication with NBC Sports. I’m grateful that they took their time to meet with me and determine the truth, and I’m thrilled that I will continue to work with the best broadcast team in racing.”
There are still a whole lot of questions there, especially as NBC declined to comment to the Star on what their investigation entailed, and especially as Tracy first claimed this was a fake account, but later said it was his account, but hacked. And it’s rather curious to think that someone would hack Tracy’s account and use it specifically for an obscene suggestion to someone with mutual friends over a political discussion. But we don’t know what evidence NBC found here, and maybe there was something to prove that this wasn’t actually Tracy himself (or anyone connected to him, as in the Bryan Colangelo Twitter saga). Without further explanation, though, there still are going to be a lot of people wondering why Tracy was able to survive this investigation and get his job back.