NASCAR will require Denny Hamlin to complete sensitivity training after he tweeted a meme of a female Asian driver to depict Kyle Larson’s driving at the end of Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.
NASCAR informed Hamlin on Tuesday morning that he must begin the process of his sensitivity training by the end of this week.
Toyota issued a statement Tuesday: “We have spoken with Denny Hamlin regarding his tweet from yesterday. Toyota supports NASCAR’s decision to mandate sensitivity training for Denny and we will all move forward together.”
Hamlin drives for Toyota at Joe Gibbs Racing. Toyota also supports Hamlin’s 23XI Racing team.
Hamlin apologized Monday night for the tweet he posted — and later removed — saying “it was a poor choice of memes and I saw how it was offensive.”
Hamlin tweeted a clip from the show “Family Guy” that references a female Asian driver. Larson’s name was superimposed over the driver. Larson’s mother is Asian American.
Larson moved up multiple lanes coming to the finish in Sunday’s race. His actions caused Kurt Busch to crash. The incident also collected Bubba Wallace. Both drive for 23XI Racing, the team Hamlin co-owns.
Hamlin’s tweet was posted at 4:44 p.m. ET Monday. Hamlin posted his apology at 11:49 p.m. ET Monday and noted he had removed the earlier tweet.
Section 4.3.e of the Cup Rule Book states: “NASCAR Members shall not make or cause to be made a 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.”
Section 4.4.e of the Cup Rule Book states that a member could face a penalty for a “Statement and/or communication made public (including social media platforms) that demeans, 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.”