It seems like even NASCAR drivers can have “heated gaming moments” now, as driver Kyle Larson dropped an N-bomb on a stream this past Sunday.
In the wake of COVID-19 shutting down all major sporting events, NASCAR took the unique solution of taking the races online with realistic racing simulations featuring real NASCAR drivers. This helps race fans scratch that itch that other sports fans cannot under these unique circumstances. Unfortunately, it does mean that the drivers have headsets with live mics, something Larson discovered when he believed his headset had cut out on him.
“You can’t hear me?” Larson checked, not realising his headset was still totally functional, before adding “Hey n—.” At this point, one of the shocked drivers said: “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud.”
NASCAR, not wanting to develop any more questionable reputations, quickly suspended Larson indefinitely. Larson released a portrait shot apology video but the damage was done. Soon after sponsors, including McDonald’s and Credit One Bank, began to sever deals with Larson and his race team, Chip Ganassi Racing. With the threat of losing even more financing deals, Chip Ganassi Racing made the decision to fire Larson.
“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with drive Kyle Larson. As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of our organization. As we continue to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take.”
The world of eSports is considerably more relaxed about such incidents, usually only resorting to fines or temporary suspensions, so it is pretty wild news to realise NASCAR is a more racially progressive sport than something.
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