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In addition to indefinite suspensions from NASCAR and his team at Chip Ganassi Racing, Kyle Larson is facing major consequences with his sponsors after using a racial slur during an iRacing stream on Sunday night.
Larson’s two biggest sponsors, Credit One Bank and McDonald’s, announced Monday that they are terminating their relationship with Larson.
Top sponsors drop Kyle Larson after racial slur
Statement from Credit One Bank regarding sponsorship of Kyle Larson. pic.twitter.com/SscEVpoz1z
— Credit One Bank (@CreditOneBank) April 13, 2020
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 13, 2020
Additionally, AdventHealth, another partner of Chip Ganassi Racing, announced that it supports the actions taken against the driver.
Our statement regarding sponsorship of Kyle Larson. pic.twitter.com/ZWe5Q4fnoC
— AdventHealth (@AdventHealth) April 13, 2020
Larson released an apology through Twitter on Monday morning, saying he understands the damage of the slur is “unrepairable.”
“Last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said,” Larson said. “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.”
Larson used the slur while competing against more than 60 other drivers in a virtual race. The slur — which Larson apparently thought he was saying in a private conversation — could be heard in multiple streams. The source was easily identified by audio data displayed by iRacing.
Entering the event, Larson was considered one of NASCAR’s top drivers under the age of 30 and was set to become a coveted free agent once his contract with CGR was up at the end of the season. The Japanese American driver was also considered one of the biggest success stories of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity initiative.
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