Every year, like clockwork, some Twitch streamer has what is called a Heated Gamer Moment. This usually involves said gamer incurring a series of embarrassing losses before inevitably dropping the Hard-R. The focus of tonight’s Heated Gamer Moment is NASCAR driver Kyle Larson.
Larson has been indefinitely suspended by NASCAR after saying the N-word in a virtual race, according to U.S News and World Report. NASCAR has been running virtual races in the game iRacing. Larson was competing in one of those events on Sunday night when at one point he lost communication with his spotter. “Can you hear me?” Larson asked. When he got no response he followed up with “Hey N—-r.” Oof. Larson was quickly informed by his fellow racers that they could hear him, all of whom were in disbelief at what he just said.
It was here in this moment, Larson knew he fucked up.
In addition to being suspended by NASCAR, Chevrolet also suspended its relationship with Larson. Credit One Bank agreed with the action taken by NASCAR, and Larson’s team, Chip Ganassi Racing, has suspended him without pay.
“The words that he chose to use are offensive and unacceptable. As of this moment, we are suspending Kyle without pay while we work through this situation with all appropriate parties.” Chip Ganassi Racing said in a statement.
Larson uploaded a video on Monday apologizing for using the word and noting that “the damage is probably unrepairable.” What’s odd about this instance is that he didn’t appear to be losing or at an incredible disadvantage in the race. Dude just casually dropped the hard-R.
What adds a level of irony to the situation is that Larson made his way into professional racing through NASCAR’s “Drive for Diversity” program. He is the only racer of Japanese descent to have ever won a NASCAR race.