Will use of N-word cost Larson his job? (Update)

Ganassi driver Larson uses N-Word. Will it cost him a sponsor?
Ganassi driver Larson uses N-Word. Gets suspended

UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR following his use of a racial slur on a live stream during an iRacing event Sunday night.

The behavioral penalty NASCAR issued Monday cited Sections 12.1 (General Procedures) and 12.8 (NASCAR Member Conduct Guidelines) of the official Rule Book. Larson must also attend sensitivity training as directed by NASCAR.

“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," a NASCAR 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."

Larson later posted a video on his social media handles, apologizing for his actions.

The full text: “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. There’s no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. It’s just an awful thing to say. I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and especially the African-American community. 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."

Earlier Monday, Chip Ganassi Racing officials said in a statement that Larson had been suspended without pay.

“We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing Event," a statement from Chip Ganassi Racing read. “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."

iRacing also released a statement and it read that Larson was suspended indefinitely from the iRacing service.

Section 12.8.1.e in the NASCAR Rule Book states:

“Member actions that could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension, or termination:

  • Public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition."

04/13/20 Last Sunday, No. 43 driver Bubba Wallace was frustrated by a crash and quit mid-race during eNASCAR’s premiere Pro Invitational event.

“That’s why I don’t take this s— serious," Wallace said over his Twitch stream.

One of his sponsors, Blue-Emu pain relief ointment, dropped its sponsorship deal with Wallace due to the move.

This weekend NASCAR driver Kyle Larson was caught using the N-word during iRacing Twitch stream and it too might cost him his sponsor

Sunday night, Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro, was broadcast using the N-word over his radio during an exhibition iRacing event. Larson appeared unaware that his microphone was being picked up by a Twitch livestream, which included other NASCAR drivers and was accessible to the public.

“You can’t hear me?" Larson said. Larson’s name flashed across the bottom of the stream to indicate he was speaking. “Hey, (N-word)."

The other drivers immediately erupted in shock.

“Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud" Xfinity driver Anthony Alfredo said.

“Yep, we heard that," iRacing driver Aron MacEachern said.

“Yikes," IndyCar driver Conor Daly said.

The clip surfaced on Daly’s Twitch stream late Sunday night and quickly made the rounds on social media.

It's Monday morning and neither Larson, his Chip Ganassi Racing team nor NASCAR had commented on the matter……yet.

Larson’s comment will likely have significant ramifications.

Based on historical precedence, Larson could face a suspension upon the return of actual on-track competition. In 2013, NASCAR indefinitely suspended Xfinity Series driver Jeremy Clements for using a racial slur while talking to a reporter from MTV in front of a NASCAR representative.

Clements returned only after completing sensitivity training.

IndyCar regular Conor Daly lost his Lilly Diabetes sponsorship for a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America in 2018 when a radio clip from the 1980s emerged of his father, ex-Formula 1 and CART racer Derek Daly, using a racial slur.

Larson is also in the midst of his free agency campaign, his contract with Ganassi expiring at the end of the season. Larson is a graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program as he is of Japanese descent.

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