NASCAR’s iRacing experiment took a disappointing turn on Sunday night. During the event, Kyle Larson quite audibly dropped a racial slur. As a result, he’s been suspended indefinitely.
Video of Larson actually saying the slur wasn’t available, but audio of him saying it, along with visual indication he was talking, was shown various Twitch streams during a race on the Monza oval.
yeah uh pic.twitter.com/BBH7bRcIu8
— Davin (@DriveThrough_) April 13, 2020
While Larson himself hasn’t yet made a statement, NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing (his Cup Series team) put out statements on what happened.
NASCAR originally noted that “insensitive language” was used and they were gathering more information. After that initial statement, NASCAR decided to suspend Larson indefinitely while having him undergo sensitivity training. Chip Ganassi Racing followed suit and was more direct, mentioning Larson by name, saying that the language was “offensive and unacceptable,” and suspending him without pay.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) April 13, 2020
Statement regarding Kyle Larson: pic.twitter.com/s340nc7eN9
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) April 13, 2020
Reading between the lines of Ganassi’s statement, that sounds like the team wants to talk to Larson’s sponsors before making their next move. NASCAR has suspended Larson and is making him undergo sensitivity training, but if McDonald’s, Credit One, or AdventHealth feel that’s not enough and doesn’t want to sponsor Larson anymore, this may very well be it for Larson in NASCAR. And if that’s the case, Larson will have no one to blame but himself.
UPDATE: Larson has posted a video apologizing for what he said.
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 13, 2020