Kyle Larson issued a 42-second video on social media apologizing for his use of a racial slur during an iRacing event Sunday night.
Larson said in the video: “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. 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.”
NASCAR indefinitely suspended Larson on Monday, stating: “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. 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.”
Also Monday, Chip Ganassi Racing suspended Larson without pay, stating: “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.”
Larson was participating in the Monza Madness iRacing exhibition race Sunday night. Video from another competitor’s twitch stream caught the slur from Larson across the audio channel where drivers can talk to all competitors. When a driver speaks on that channel, their name appears on each driver’s screen.
In the video of the iRacing event, Larson, who has Japanese-American heritage, said: “You can’t hear me? Hey (racial slur).”
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 13, 2020