'I wasn't raised that way': NASCAR driver Kyle Larson apologizes for using the N-word during Twitch livestream

Kyle Larson Daytona 500
  • After being suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and suspended without pay by his team, NASCAR driver Kyle Larson apologized on Monday for using the N-word during a Twitch broadcast on Sunday night. 
  • "Last night, I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said, and there's no excuse for that," Larson said in a video posted to Twitter. "I wasn't raised that way."
  • Larson was competing in a recreational event on iRacing, a virtual simulator, when he said the N-word. He seemed unaware that his radio communication was being broadcast to all drivers, as well as the stream. 
  • "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," a spokesperson for NASCAR told Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After being suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and suspended without pay by his team, NASCAR driver Kyle Larson apologized Monday for using the N-word during a Twitch livestream on Sunday night. 

"Hey, I just wanted to stay I'm sorry," Larson said. "Last night, I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said, and there's no excuse for that. I wasn't raised that way. It's just an awful thing to say, and I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community, and especially the African-American community.
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"I understand the damage is probably unrepairable, and I own up to that, but I just want to let you all know how sorry I am, and I hope everyone is staying safe during these crazy times. Thank you."

Larson, a driver in the top-level NASCAR Cup Series who came up through NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, used the N-word over the radio during a race called "Monza Madness" on the iRacing virtual simulator on Sunday. Larson appeared not to know the communication was going to all drivers in the session, as well as those watching on Twitch. 

"You can't hear me?" Larson said during the event. "Hey, n-----." 
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"Hey Kyle, you're talking to everyone, bud," fellow NASCAR driver Anthony Alfredo responded, amid the yells of "Yikes," "Oh my gosh," and "No way did that just happen" on IndyCar driver Conor Daly's Twitch stream. 

Larson's race team, Chip Ganassi Racing, announced his suspension on Monday morning."We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing event," the team said in a statement to Business Insider. "The words that he chose to use are offensive and unacceptable. 
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"As of this moment we are suspending Kyle without pay while we work through this situation with all appropriate parties."

Not long after, NASCAR suspended Larson indefinitely, listing his offense as "behavioral" in a penalty report and saying Larson must attend sensitivity training "as directed by NASCAR."

"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," a spokesperson for NASCAR said. "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."
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Larson's infraction was listed under Section 12.8.1 in the NASCAR rule book, which, among other things, lists a public statement or communication that "criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person's race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition" as an action that "could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension, or termination."

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