Hailie Deegan made headlines for all the wrong reasons Sunday night
The 19-year-old NASCAR phenom was heard using the r-word during an iRacing event. Deegan was competing in a virtual race and streaming the event on her personal Twitch channel.
“Oh! Hey!” Deegan said after another driver seemingly nudged her virtual car. “Who’s the r***** behind me?! Don’t do that, please.”
(You can click here to view a clip, but just know it contains offensive language.)
Deegan later took to Twitter to issue the following apology:
Earlier tonight I used an insensitive word during an online race being broadcast on twitch. It was inappropriate slang and a stupid thing to do. I apologize to everyone who was offended by it. There’s no excuse for it, and I know I have to do better for my sponsors and my fans.
The controversy is somewhat similar to what NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson went through last year. The then-Chip Ganassi Racing driver in April was heard using a racial slur during an iRacing event. Larson soon after was fired by his team and suspended by NASCAR, though he since has been reinstated and hired by Hendrick Motorsports.
It’s unclear whether Deegan will face any punishment for her actions. She’s slated to compete full-time this season in the NASCAR Truck Series.