NASCAR Reinstates Driver Kyle Larson Following His Lengthy Apology For Using a Racial Slur While Livestreaming
Six months after saying the N-word during an iRace live stream, and later apologizing for his words in an open letter, where he admitted to educating himself on African American history and social justice issues, Kyle Larson has officially been reinstated by NASCAR.
The driver had been suspended from the sport for his initial actions prior to his apology. Kyle Larson can now start racing as of January 1, 2021.
“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,” NASCAR revealed in a statement explaining their decision to reinstate Larson. “Larson’s indefinite suspension has been lifted.”
NASCAR released the statement on Monday saying officials reinstated Larson after suspending him for use of that racial slur during the iRacing event.
“NASCAR continues to prioritize diversity and inclusion across our sport. […] Under the terms of his reinstatement, he will be cleared to return to all NASCAR racing activities effective January 1, 2021,” the organization concluded.
In addition to his suspension, a day later, Larson was also fired by Chip Ganassi Racing in April. As well as being let go, he was also required to attend sensitivity training.
And even though he has been reinstated, Larson will have continued requirements to fulfill, according to the statement, in order to remain a member of the sport professionally. These reinstatement guidelines will include “several 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.”
In that open letter by Larson, he stated that he “realized that my young kids will one day be old enough to learn about what their daddy said. I can’t go back and change it, but I can control what happens from here on out…I want them to know that words do matter.”
He also said the “apologizing for your mistakes matters. Accountability matters. Forgiveness matters. Treating others with respect matters. I will not stop listening and learning, but for me now, it’s about action – doing the right things, being a part of the solution, and writing a new chapter that my children will be proud to read.”
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.