NASCAR Welcomes Driver Kyle Larson Back Six Months After N-Word Incident
For the first time, we're hearing from @NASCAR driver Kyle Larson after he was fired in April for using a racial slur during a virtual racing event.— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 16, 2020
In his first TV interview, he spoke to @JBsportscaster about race in America and why he's hoping for a second chance. pic.twitter.com/zOXoVTU8J8
Remember April? Honestly, I barely remember April. Even though it was just six months ago, it feels like forever ago. A different decade.
But back in April, when all the sports were shutdown, several of the professional sports leagues started doing virtual games for their fans. MLB had their stars playing MLB: The Show, the NBA had a similar thing going, and even NASCAR got in on the virtual fun.
And during one virtual race back in April, NASCAR driver Kyle Larson called one of his teammates the n-word, much like a 12-year-old white boy from Idaho would during an online game of Call of Duty.
NASCAR was quick to react and suspended Larson indefinitely, but now six months later, they’re ready to reinstate him.
He can return to the track on January 1, 2021, but he will be on probation until 2023.
NASCAR says in addition to completing a sensitivity training course — he must continue ‘to take further training and engagement classes through 2023.’
Larson must also complete several NASCAR speaking engagements through 2023 … where he will ‘share his experiences with NASCAR’s weekly series, e-sports and dirt-racing communities.’ There’s more … Larson has also been ordered to continue his work with the Urban Youth Racing School in Philadelphia and Rev Racing, providing coaching and mentorship for those initiatives.
So yeah, perhaps some good is coming from this situation. Of course, just because Larson can race again, doesn’t mean a team will be willing to take him in.
That being said, he was one of the league’s best drivers before this incident, so odds are…someone is going to take a chance on him. And given that this is NASCAR after all, it probably won’t even be that controversial of a move.