NASCAR driver Kyle Larson was suspended by Chip Ganassi Racing on Monday morning, the decision coming on the heels of a controversial video circulating on social media. The video sees Larson using a racial slur while participating in an iRacing event.
After Larson came under fire on Sunday night, it didn’t take the company he races for much time at all to make the announcement that he had been suspended as it looked into the matter. The Athletic‘s Jeff Gluck posted the company’s statement on Twitter.
“We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing Event. The words that he chose to use are offensive and unacceptable. As of this moment, we are suspending Kyle without pay while we work through this situation with all appropriate parties.”
Not long after Ganassi Racing handed down its suspension, NASCAR followed suit. Gluck reported that the organization has told Larson he needs to go through sensitivity training. NASCAR further said it has gone out of its way to make inclusion a big part of its mission and the language that Larson used will not be tolerated.
The issue blew up after a short clip of the iRacing Event Larson was involved in went viral. In the video, Larson seemed to think the other competitors couldn’t hear him. As the prompt on the screen showed he was the one talking, he said, “you can’t hear me? Hey n—-.” After a few moments in which the other drivers seem shocked, Anthony Alfredo responded, “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone bud.”
Aron MacEachern then chimed in with, “yep, we heard that.” Another driver simply responded with “yikes.”
As Fox News pointed out, it’s not clear who Larson was directing his comment to when he used the word. The drivers were competing in an unofficial event organized by Landon Cassill on a virtual version of a track in Monza, Italy, which hasn’t been used for real racing in decades.
Despite the fact that this was not an officially sanctioned NASCAR event, the organization moved quickly to make sure fans of the sport didn’t think it was acceptable for Larson to say what he said.
Since NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing both announced their suspensions of Kyle Larson, his fans have come to his defense on social media. However, the driver himself has yet to make a statement attempting to explain his comment.
DISCLAIMER: Below is a video of the incident but please be aware the content may not be suitable for all ages or viewers.