NASCAR driver Kyle Larson was indefinitely suspended after using the N-word during an iRacing event, a subscription-based racing simulation video game played online. Audio from other racers, who were streaming the event, caught Larson’s use of the offending language. Larson’s team, Chip Ganassi Racing, also dropped him.
Mets starter Marcus Stroman, one of baseball’s few remaining black players, responded to the Larson news on Twitter this morning. He tweeted, “He should never be allowed to race again in @NASCAR. Said that derogatory word so nonchalantly. Your apology doesn’t matter. Post-career…I’ll fight this man in a @ufc event for charity. He needs his ass beat. Would love to hear him say that word in the octagon!”
Responding to a fan that noted that Larson’s number is 42, which is also the number that Jackie Robinson wore, Stroman said, “Disgrace to Jackie Robinson.”
Larson apologized through a video posted to social media. Stroman also responded to that, tweeting to Larson, “It’s a shame that your child has to grow up with a racist father. The apple never falls far from the tree. Thank you for continuing to support and allow racism to be present in society. True role model you are!”
Larson’s controversy is unfortunate for racing as a whole as the sport and its fan base were trying to overcome stereotypes pertaining to bigotry. The Larson incident sets that effort back quite a bit. It is certainly not the headline NASCAR wanted while there are no sports going on.