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.
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 13, 2020
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.”