NASCAR star driver Kyle Larson has been suspended indefinitely without pay by Chip Ganassi Racing, mere hours after Larson used a racial slur during an iRacing event Sunday night. NASCAR took the weekend off from its official Pro Invitational Series esports event that has drawn much acclaim the last month, but Larson was participating in an unofficial race that was nonetheless being streamed on the sanctioning body’s digital channels.
Larson was overheard on drivers’ personal Twitch streams using a racial epithet, and CGR has now suspended him “while we work through this situation with all appropriate parties. The statement added, “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.”
NASCAR has also issued a statement and will suspend Larson indefinitely, requiring him to attend sensitivity training. “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.”
Larson is sponsored in his real-life No. 42 Chevy by McDonald’s, Credit One Bank and Advent Health; none of those companies have yet commented on the matter, while NASCAR said earlier this morning that it was investigating the comment.
The stunning development for one of NASCAR’s most highly touted young drivers comes just a week after another driver, Bubba Wallace, got dropped by sponsor Blue Emu for quitting a Pro Invitational Series race early on after getting in a crash. Larson, who is represented by Pro Sport Management’s Rod Moskowitz, has yet to comment but could release a statement later today.
Trent Murray contributed to this story.
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