NASCAR driver Kyle Larson has been suspended after he was heard using a racial slur during a livestream over the weekend.
As reported by USA Today, the stock car racer, who is half Japanese, participated in an iRacing matchup on Easter Sunday that was broadcast live to viewers on Twitch and eNASCAR.com
When the 27-year-old appeared to have trouble communicating with his drivers, he was heard muttering, “You can’t hear me? Hey, ------.”
After Larson dropped the N-word, multiple drivers vocalized their discomfort and outrage during the virtual race.
While NASCAR Xfinity Series competitor Anthony Alfredo told Larson, “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud,” iRacer Justin Botelho exclaimed, “Oh, damn! He did not just say that.”
On Monday, NASCAR disciplined Larson with an indefinite suspension and mandatory sensitivity training.
“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 company said in a statement. “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.”
Additionally, Larson’s team, Chip Ganassi Racing, released a statement Monday condemning his “offensive and unacceptable” comments. They too are suspending him without pay.
Statement regarding Kyle Larson: pic.twitter.com/s340nc7eN9— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) April 13, 2020
In a video posted to social media on Monday, Larson issued an apology, admitting that the “damage is probably unrepairable and I own up to that.”
“There’s no excuse for that; I wasn’t raised that way — it’s just an awful thing to say,” he said, adding, “I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and especially the African-American community.”