The 27-year-old NASCAR driver Kyle Larson has been suspended indefinitely after using a racial slur during an iRacing esports event over the weekend.
According to NBC News:
During an ensuing microphone check Larson said, “You can’t hear me?” Apparently believing he could not be heard, he then blurted out the N-word.
His fellow drivers in the chat were stunned by Larson’s slur, with one instantly saying: “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud.”
“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,” according to a statement issued Monday by his team, Chip Ganassi Racing.
“As of this moment we are suspending Kyle without pay while we work through this situation with all appropriate parties.”
In predictable PR damage control fashion, Larson issued a video apology on Monday. He says that he “made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said. And there’s no excuse for that.”
It’s pretty common to hear sexist, racist, and homophobic comments in the online gaming community. However, as a female gamer, the pervasiveness of it doesn’t make it any less troubling. So when someone with a platform like Larson’s “accidentally” uses a racial slur during an event, it’s even more disturbing.