As the novel Coronavirus pandemic has caused all sporting activities around the globe to face cancellation or postponement, many motor racing association are continuing their season calendar with organising virtual races. First seen in Formula 1 with their Virtual GP, American stock car racing company NASCAR also went ahead with their iRacing eSports series to continue with their races. However, driver Kyle Larson has faced a suspension from NASCAR and his racing team for using a racial slur during a live stream of the race on Sunday.
Kyle Larson, who has been put under suspension without pay by his team Chip Ganassi Racing, uttered the N-word when his team was unable to hear him over the mic. The race was live streamed with many viewers, and the American driver has been the subject of harsh criticism from all around.
NASCAR released an official statement following the incident on Monday. “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.”
McDonalds and Credit One Bank, who were the sponsor of Larson, have also terminated their contract with the 27 year old driver from California.
“Credit One Bank denounces the highly offensive language used by Kyle Larson during Sunday’s iRacing event. In addition to the quick actions taken by NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing, Credit One Bank is terminating its sponsorship of Kyle Larson.” the bank’s official Twitter handle posted on Monday.
“The comments made by Kyle Larson are insensitive, offensive and not reflective of our inclusive values and will not be tolerated. McDonald’s is taking immediate action to terminate the relationship with Larson.” said Mcdonalds USA.
Larson himself tweeted a video, where he apologised for his unruly behaviour.
“Hey, 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,” the driver said in the video.
“I understand the damage is probably unrepairable and I own up to that. But I just want to let you all know how sorry I am and I hope everybody is staying safe during these crazy times. Thank you.”
Check out the video below-
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 13, 2020