A notable NASCAR racing team has fired its star driver in light of a scandal involving the public utterance of a racial slur in front of a myriad of racing fans.
According to NBC News, Kyle Larson has been fired by his Chip Ganassi Racing NASCAR team for saying “n*gger” during a recent virtual event sponsored by the league. The virtual “iRacing” event was held on Sunday (April 12) and involved the participation of many racing fans who viewed the showcase during the nation’s current quarantine time.
In a fit of ill-advised excitement, Larson yelled the racial epithet during NASCAR’s online event and it was not a good look for his racing team. NASCAR drivers are praised public figures who make big bucks due to the handsome contributions, which come from major corporate sponsors. Initially, the Chip Ganassi Racing club took action by suspending Larson until further notice.
However, on Tuesday, the North Carolina-based professional racing club released a public statement that expressed its decision to fire Larson, 27, for his verbal foul-up. Though he apologized on Twitter for his actions, his racing club still felt that keeping Larson on board was too big a public relations risk to take.
“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson. As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of our organization,” the racing club’s statement reads.
“As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take,” the statement goes on to read.
Larson’s career as a professional race car driver showed promise before this incident. Now it appears as if the Northern California native has lost out on the opportunity to earn millions of dollars. McDonald’s, one of his team’s corporate sponsors, also released a statement of acknowledgment over what happened.
“The comments made by Kyle Larson are insensitive, offensive and not reflective of our inclusive values and will not be tolerated. McDonald’s is taking immediate action to terminate the relationship with Larson.,” McDonald’s said in its statement.