NASCAR reinstates Kyle Larson following racial slur, eligible to return Jan. 1, 2021
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Kyle Larsen has been reinstated by NASCAR.
The driver from California had been suspended from the racing for more than six months after he used a racial slur during an IRacing event.
Larsen is eligible to return to the NASCAR track on January 1, 2021.
He was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing on April 14, the day after NASCAR suspended him for using the n-word.
Larson was mandated to complete sensitivity training at NASCAR’s direction as a condition for reinstatement, but will also have continued requirements to fulfill in order to keep his NASCAR membership current.
“NASCAR continues to prioritize diversity and inclusion across our sport,” NASCAR said in an official statement. “Kyle Larson has fulfilled the requirements set by NASCAR, and has taken several voluntary measures, to better educate himself so that he can use his platform to help bridge the divide in our country. Larson’s indefinite suspension has been lifted. Under the terms of his reinstatement, he will be cleared to return to all NASCAR racing activities effective January 1, 2021.”
Those terms for reinstatement include a total of 30 speaking engagements, each spaced out through 2023, where Larson will share his experiences with NASCAR’s weekly series, e-sports and dirt-racing communities. He will also be required to take further training and engagement classes through 2023, plus continue his work with the Urban Youth Racing School (UYRS) and Rev Racing, providing coaching and mentorship for those initiatives.
During the virtual racing event, Larson had called out to his spotter, “…you can’t hear me at all…?” followed by calling out to his spotter, who is also White, using the n-word, according to CBS Sports.
An unknown racer replied at the time, “…hey Kyle, you’re talking to everyone bud…”
Larson said he had raced with that friend in Australia, and the circle they were in had “used the word casually as a greeting.”
“I can fully understand why people would label me a racist,” Larson told CBS News' James Brown in his first TV interview since the incident. “I know deep down I’m not a racist — I said a racist word.”
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