Kyle Larson’s hateful language is going to cost him big time.
NASCAR suspended the driver indefinitely Monday after Larson was heard saying a racial slur during an iRacing event Sunday night. Larson was heard saying the N-word as he streamed the race on his Twitch account.
“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,” the league said in a statement. “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.”
NASCAR also noted Larson will have to attend sensitivity training.
Larson’s race team, Chip Ganassi Racing, also suspended the driver indefinitely.
“We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing event,” the team said in its own separate statement. “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.”
NASCAR, like just about every other sports league in the world, currently is amid a pause in the season due to the coronavirus outbreak. If and when the 2020 season resumes, it’s worth wondering whether Larson will still have a ride. Even if he does, one would imagine his suspension(s) will cause him to miss actual races and not just virtual races.
Larson, one of the more successful NASCAR drivers, almost certainly will face sponsor backlash in the coming days and weeks, too.