Bubba Wallace became the first active NASCAR Cup Series driver to weigh in via social media on Kyle Larson’s use of a racial slur Sunday night.
Larson was fired from Chip Ganassi Racing on Tuesday, less than 48 hours after he said the slur over the radio during an iRacing race broadcast on NASCAR’s website. Wallace said Thursday that Larson texted him Sunday evening and the two talked on Monday via FaceTime.
“What Larson said was wrong, whether in private or public,” Wallace wrote. “There is no gray area.”
He said Larson’s pride and emotions were “shattered” when the two had their conversation.
“We discussed why he chose to use that language and I shared my thoughts. I told him it was too easy for him to use the word and that he has to do better and get it out of his vocabulary. There is no place for that word in this world. I am not mad at him, and I believe that he, along with most people, deserve second chances, and deserve space to improve. I do wish him and his family nothing but the best. And I am more than willing to work with him to address diversity and inclusion in our sport.”
You can read Wallace’s statement in full below.
Wallace is the only black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series and drives for Richard Petty Motorsports. Both he and Larson participated in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program as they came up through the NASCAR ranks. The Drive for Diversity program was created in the mid-2000s to in an attempt to help more minorities and women make their way through the white male-dominated world of American stock car racing.
Wallace’s comments come after Joey Logano was asked Tuesday by NBC’s Mike Tirico about Larson’s firing. Logano was the first active driver to make public comments regarding Larson’s firing.
Larson was four races into his seventh full-time season in the Cup Series before he was let go. CGR terminated his contract after sponsors McDonald’s and Credit One both said Monday that they were disassociating themselves from him in the wake of his usage of the word.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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