CHARLOTTE, N.C. – NASCAR driver Kyle Larson was fired Tuesday after using a racial slur on a livestream during a virtual race, his team said.
The firing came a day after nearly all of Larson’s sponsors dropped him after the driver, competing in an iRacing event Sunday night, made the comment. During a check of his microphone, Larson said to his spotter, who is white, “You can’t hear me?” That was followed by the N-word, WSOC-TV reported.
Larson’s firing was announced Tuesday by Chip Ganassi Racing.
“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
Larson was suspended without pay by Ganassi on Monday, then suspended indefinitely by NASCAR. Larson, who is half Japanese — his grandparents spent time in a California internment camp during World War II — was ordered to complete sensitivity training, WSOC reported.
Larson’s sponsors included McDonald’s, Credit One Bank and Chevrolet. McDonald’s and Credit One Bank pulled their funding from Larson, while Chevrolet suspended its relationship with him, according to The Associated Press.
In a video posted to Twitter on Monday, Larson apologized for his comments.
“I just want to say I’m sorry,” Larson said in his Twitter video. “You know, last night I made a mistake, and, said the word that should never, ever, be said. And there’s no excuse for that. You know, I wasn’t raised that way, it’s just an awful thing to say.”
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