Benjamin Fearnow, Newsweek, April 14, 2020
A live stream video of NASCAR driver Kyle Larson went viral in the past few days and ultimately led to his dismissal from his racing team Tuesday as the audio revealed Larson using a racial slur during an online racing video game.
The 27-year-old Chip Ganassi Racing driver and NASCAR star was fired for his use of the n-word during the iRacing event organized over the weekend amid the United States’ coronavirus lockdown. Larson had apologized earlier on Monday as NASCAR initially suspended him and he was ordered to take racial sensitivity training, but Chip Ganassi Racing management later removed him from the team completely.
In the video, Larson could be heard testing his microphone and trying to communicate with the other online drivers after a virtual crash, “You can’t hear me? Hey [racial slur].” Several other players in the online racing game could be heard responding with shocked laughter and gasps as they informed Larson, “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone bud,” before another responded, “Yep, we heard that.”
Both McDonald’s and Credit One Bank, two of Larson’s major corporate sponsors, dropped him in wake of initial reports. His other sponsors included 3M, a company which was recently tapped by the federal government for help manufacturing respirators for COVID-19 patients and Advent Health.