Kyle Larson, NASCAR, 2019

Larson “indefinitely suspended” by NASCAR over racial slur

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Ganassi NASCAR driver Kyle Larson has been suspended by the championship and his team following his use of a racial slur during an Esports race yesterday.

Larson used the ‘N-word’ while asking another driver whether he could be heard during the Monza Madness race. The event was broadcast by eNASCAR, and Larson’s exchange was heard on a Twitch stream involving several drivers which was streamed publicly.

“Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud,” rival Anthony Alfredo told him afterwards.

NASCAR said Larson had infringed rules prohibiting any “public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.”

Larson has been “indefinitely suspended” and would be required to attend “sensitivity training”, it added.

“NASCAR has made diversity and inclusion a priority and will not tolerate the type of language used by Kyle Larson during Sunday’s iRacing event,” it said in a statement. “Our member conduct guidelines are clear in this regard, and we will enforce these guidelines to maintain an inclusive environment for our entire industry and fan base.”

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Ganassi said it was “extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing event.

“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.”

Larson arrived in NASCAR through the sport’s ‘Drive for Diversity’ programme, which is intended to increase participation in the championship among those from under-represented backgrounds. He has won six races since making his Cup racing debut in 2013.

It remains to be seen how long Larson’s suspensions will keep him out of the real-world cockpit. In 2013 NASCAR XS driver Jeremy Clements was given an indefinite suspension for using the same word, and returned to the cockpit after missing two races. However several upcoming NASCAR races have been called off due to the global situation.

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  • 78 comments on “Larson “indefinitely suspended” by NASCAR over racial slur”

    1. you can buy a machine gun but can’t say a word, what hypocrisy is with US

      1. Even stranger is that if you are a member of that group you can use that word. Its a bit like someone with Cerebral Palsy being able to use the disparaging S word against themselves…. and that just does not happen.

      2. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
        13th April 2020, 17:48

        I don’t see the connection. What is the hypocrisy? Guns laws, wether I agree with them or not, are in the constitution. Freedom of speech too. But I can not think of any reason for anybody to use the N word during a race. The consequences are deserved.

        1. Guns laws, wether I agree with them or not, are in the constitution.

          Meaning you don’t care whether something is right or wrong, just is it legal or not for you to do?

          The hypocrisy is quite clear here. The offender is supposedly punished because his words are hurtful, as if we care for the relatively mild discomfort this causes, yet we clearly don’t care even when people lose their lives.

          The situation in America is especially ridiculous because there is one word that will get you instakilled and everything else gets you a mild slap on the wrist if that.

          The consequences are deserved.

          They’re probably deserved legally as I’m sure his employer has the right to terminate him for such a violation, but they’re nowhere near deserved morally.

          1. ….your post seems to implying that it’s legal to shoot people in the US, which I can assure you it isn’t.

            The man is being punished for a racial slur – racism is highly offensive (not mildly) and has it’s roots in murder and slavery, so it’s not a BS issue.

      3. @v-i-s I’m really not one to agree with USA’s way in almost anything but I don’t see the relationship between those two things, mate. He shouldn’t say that world, gun control or not…

      4. You can use that word all you want. So can Kyle. No is stopping him.

        1. Blank people say it all the time, why can’t black people get in trouble for saying that word?

      5. US law does not preclude the use of racial slurs. The KKK use these words all the time.

        The rules Kyle Larson violated are set by NASCAR. Although I have to wonder if you condone Kyle Larson’s speech.

      6. When I see stuff like this I just grab popcorn and watch.

      7. You can not buy a machine gun, that is nonsense. An ar15 is Not a machine gun, it only spits out 1 bullet everytime you press the trigger. No modern soldier would go into war with a semi automatic firearm as their main weapon.

        Larson can use any word he wishes, there is no jail sentence for it, but he must pay the consequences for using such a vile word.

    2. So a guy who made it into NASCAR BECAUSE he`s from minorities or something, was fired because he said something about minorities…. solid logic…

      1. Whether he’s a ehtnic minority or not is not the issue. Voicing a “public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition” is the issue. Regardless of who does it.

    3. So he wasn’t even insulting anyone? Come on…

      1. So you’re saying black people aren’t anyone?

        1. Ah yes, because saying it directly in someones face, meant as an insult, is exactly the same as saying it to a friend, the same way lot’s of black folks say it to their friends. It is often portrayed like that in movies, on TV, music videos and the interwebs.

          It was nothing more than a ‘hey buddy’, but he used the big bad no-no word instead of buddy, as many many black people do every single day. That’s it. He said the word. Does that make him a racist? No, it makes him a person that said the word, unknowningly he was broadcasting.

          I’m just baffled with the overreaction everytime this happens. Only a few months ago we had a Dutch football trainer who sang-a-long a rap, that was playing out loud in the locker-room and the locker room was singing-a-long. He got fired, because he just couldn’t do that. Only black people are allowed to sing-a-long the full lyrics. Trainer lost his job and got the stamp ‘racist’.

          Seriously, what.. the.. The political correctness is getting silly. Stop being so god damn oversensitive.

    4. iRacing also suspended him, I see!

    5. Wanted to hear the context for myself so looked it up the tube. He said “hey….***” for the record seemingly to no-one in particular, and because he thought his voice feed wasn’t working. I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often as here in the US racism is rampant, despite what the media has you believe. It’s ubiquitous as we head towards the right of the political spectrum let’s leave it at that. Seeing as certain sports fans lean that way as a matter of pride you can’t socialize anywhere without hearing the word said casually in normal conversation.
      Of course those folk can’t be CAUGHT saying it on mic as every media outlet rightly bans it.
      If Larson has a lawyer fighting the ban I’d be expecting them to use the argument that he thought he was offline as a defense. It’s pretty obvious though from the recording though that he said it to find out if anyone was actually listening to him, in an attention grabbing way. He’s a classic example of the closet racist in so many Americans sadly, I hope the “re-education” he has to receive is directed towards the whole community and not just the guy who got caught. You shouldn’t be teaching people what they can and cannot say, but what they should or shouldn’t be BELIEVING.

    6. Should just fire him and move on. Life is too short to deal with someone like that.

      1. Honestly, I’m also sick of people using the word ‘nice’ all the time..

      2. @ Andy – On first read, I thought you said “…light him on fire and move on.” I’m okay with that, or your use of the word “fire.”

      3. Watching it, I have the impression he used that word inadvertently, almost to himself. He deserves the public reaction and some form of punishment to remind everyone of what that word means, but this should also not go out of proportion.

        Anyway, my bet is that he will stay quite for some weeks, go through some NASCAR rehab program and then be re-instated. But I hate to see all the morale self-licensing comments…

    7. *reads comments*

      The one tiny, tiny silver lining when things like this happen, is that you get a good idea of who to avoid by what they say in the aftermath.

    8. Chevrolet has suspended its relationship with Kyle Larson. Larson has driven nothing but Chevrolets since coming into NASCAR and Chevrolet Accessories also sponsor Kyle Larson Racing in the World of Outlaw sprint car series. The manufacture additions actions could be taken.

      As noted above iracing has banned him from their service and his sponsor Credit One Bank have denounced his conduct on Twitter.

      1. And as I post that, Credit One Bank has terminated its sponsorship of Kyle Larson.

    9. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      14th April 2020, 0:39

      Frankly, I don’t know what’s more depressing – the inane remark made by Larson, or the glee with which so many people are rooting for him to be crucified. There’s even someone here, in this very comments section, casually joking about lighting him on fire. Mob mentality, anyone?

      Larson’s use of the n-word is an indictment against himself. It is not a blanket permission for others to dehumanize him in return. This is not a competition to see who can stoop lowest – unless we turn it into one, which the virtual lynch mob sure seems eager to do. Almost as if they were just looking for an excuse.

      Again, I honestly don’t know what’s more depressing.

      1. Luke Longnecker
        14th April 2020, 4:26

        Well said!

      2. Give up anon. This is the new world we live in.

        1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
          14th April 2020, 10:59

          Give up anon. This is the new world we live in.

          It is precisely because of this new world we live in that I choose to voice my concern, @peartree.

          I get it: This particular forum is not exactly the UN. It’s not as if anything anyone says on here matters a whole lot in the great scheme of things. And yet, here we all are, saying stuff to each other. Somehow, paradoxically, that matters. At least, our comments matter more than our silence would have – probably not a lot more, but still more, for better or worse. But if giving up is what you have decided to do, then I won’t judge you.

      3. I was the one who said that I misread the comment about Larson should be fired from his job as something about being lit on fire. And I did make the hyperbolic comment that I would be okay with that. Perhaps I should have included “/s” to indicate my sarcasm.

        But given all of your other comments, it is clear all you want to do is make false comparisons and say that what Larson did was not so bad. There is no “lynch mob” here (which, has its own connections to the past which I assume you are aware of and thus chose that term specifically). In fact, the first three comments were from people saying that they cannot believe he got fired for “saying a word.” As if the word or its history do not matter, it was just like any other word.

        Most of the initial comments in favor of his punishment were just that; statements that said we thought it was fair. Then along come people saying that we are overreacting. That’s what actually happened. No one, that I can see is jumping up and down for joy. If there is any happiness, it is simply in something actually being done by NASCAR, which I assumed would not happen.

        And I may have overstepped your bounds for poor choice of words with my sarcasm, but it’s nice to see that actual slurs are not an issue for you. Or, at least not a first offense when broadcast publicly.

        Had Larson said the word to someone, or had he been a repeat offender, my opinion on the matter would have been different.

        He did say the word to someone. He didn’t (seemingly) say the word to hurt someone. But when throwing around slurs or hateful language in a public place, you don’t get to decide how people will react. And when some of those people sign your paychecks, you may want to take into account how they might react.

        To be clear, he wasn’t singing a song and forgot. He didn’t say a similar word that got mangled by bad audio compression (like reneging on a promise). He used a word casually that had no place to be used casually by him, and especially not at work. My guess is sponsors clearly understood that he could not excuse it away and did what they thought was in their best interest.

        There is a reason that we (presumably responsible adults) tell our children to be careful what they put on the internet. Because exponentially more things are recorded now than they used to be. Larson was born in 1992 and has spent most of his conscious life with the internet, or at the very least since middle school age. He has no excuse.

        1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
          15th April 2020, 19:57

          @hobo – I have listened to the recording, and he clearly said the word to no one in particular. My point stands.

          it’s nice to see that actual slurs are not an issue for you. Or, at least not a first offense when broadcast publicly.

          Nice strawman you built there. You claim to have read my other comments. Then you have also read the following bits:

          Larson’s use of the n-word is an indictment against himself.

          I’m not saying nothing should have been done.

          However, just because something is legal does not necessarily mean that it’s fair. That applies to someone saying the n-word[.]

          You read all that, and yet you’re still making the argument that racial slurs are not an issue for me. Seriously?

          This is not binary. “Saying the n-word is A-Okay” and “Saying the n-word, regardless of circumstances or context, should get you fired” aren’t the only possible stances to take here. It’s possible to fall in the middle somewhere, as I’m inclined to. Oh, and the bit about me making false comparisons? I’m weighing Larson’s act against the consequences of said act. How is that a false comparison?

          One more thing:

          I was the one who said that I misread the comment about Larson should be fired from his job as something about being lit on fire. And I did make the hyperbolic comment that I would be okay with that. Perhaps I should have included “/s” to indicate my sarcasm.

          Fair enough. I misinterpreted your comment, then. I am genuinely sorry.

          1. I did, in fact, read the entire comments thread prior to making my above comment. And that includes all of your statements, including the ones you quoted above. One way you can tell I read all your comments is because the one time I directly quoted you, I used the second version of that quote with your preferred italics location. You did say all of those things that you quoted, I agree, but you also said what I quoted from you:

            Had Larson said the word to someone, or had he been a repeat offender, my opinion on the matter would have been different.

            I am on board with the general idea that being held to your worst moment can feel unfair. But sometimes that is what happens because of the circumstances. I could go through a laundry list of examples but I’ll stick to this one. Here is where I am coming from looking at this.

            1) If you are not part of the group, you don’t have license to a particular term without consequences. Even some of those within the group do not. By that I mean, even if the driver in question were African-American, if that person dropped the N word regularly on broadcast TV, he or she would be told to stop. Guaranteed. This is not solely about this specific word, there are other slurs or statements that would get you in trouble very fast.

            2) Again, I think this needs repeating. This was not an accidental use of the word in a context that makes any sense. It’s not like drivers were singing along to a song and when it got to his line, he didn’t edit himself. He either used it like you or I would say, “man” or “dude” or “guy”, OR he specifically used it for shock value. Some people in the comments have used that as a defense, essentially saying he was using it casually so he didn’t mean anything by it. Go use slurs with your boss, your family, in a random crowd, see how that goes. Intent is important, but the world does not stop at your intent. Which brings me to…

            3) He absolutely DID say it to people. I assume you mean he wasn’t saying it to one specific target, so it’s not the same. (Correct me if that isn’t close to what you mean.) But he had a microphone, and that microphone could be broadcast. And while he’s youngish, if at 27—having raced in a NASCAR-adjacent series since 2012 with all the accompanying PR staff and contracts involving NOT harming the team or sponsors or NASCAR—he still thought it was okay to drop that word during a race… then maybe he’s not mature enough for any of the sponsors or his team to risk his continued employment.

            So, for me, excusing a completely public and determined use of a racist slur—even once—does not make sense. I take you at your word that you think it was wrong and he shouldn’t have done it. But I disagree with you thinking that the reaction by sponsors and his team was, and here I am paraphrasing you, legal but unfair. Every offensive word or action is not equal, and you do not always get a second chance.

            1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
              16th April 2020, 17:36

              @hobo – I’ll keep this as brief as I can. I’ll start by addressing your numbered paragraphs.

              1) No argument there. I agree with you.

              2) Fair enough. That is a valid point.

              3) Your interpretation of what I meant is correct. I meant to say that he wasn’t directing the slur towards a specific target. That, to me, makes a difference.

              Which brings me to the next bit. I’m gonna go ahead and quote you:

              I am on board with the general idea that being held to your worst moment can feel unfair.

              That, for me, is at the heart of this matter. I would argue that being held to your worst moment is not only something that can feel unfair – sometimes, it can be unfair.

              For the record, here’s what I think would have been a reasonable response to Larson’s outburst:

              First of all, mandatory suspension from all NASCAR events and all iRacing events for the remainder of the 2020 season, in conjunction with all of the following:

              – Mandatory sensitivity training (as has, in fact, been required of him);

              – Some form of “community service” akin to what Verstappen was ordered to after his run-in with Ocon, but appropriate to the specific nature of Larson’s blunder; and

              – A suspended lifetime ban from all NASCAR racing series – that is, not just the Cup Series, but all of them. In other words: “Pull this (or a similar) stunt again, and you’re history.”

              I think this would send a pretty strong message to not just Larson, but everyone else in NASCAR – while at the same time avoiding a situation where one (admittedly bad) foul-up overrides everything else Larson has done in his career.

              I get the feeling that you’ll think this is still too lenient. And I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

            2. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
              16th April 2020, 18:01

              Oh, and I’d also be okay with him having to pay a fine. Say, the equivalent of his average annual salary since entering the Cup Series? The money would, of course, go to an organization that fights racism.

            3. I hear what you are saying, and we seem to agree on a number of points with the exception of whether the punishment fit the act, right?

              I’m going to repeat myself somewhat, and I apologize for that, but I am doing so because I think this is why everyone (NASCAR, team, sponsors) reacted how they reacted. The way he threw that word out there, as if it was no different than saying, “Hey!” showed that this was not an isolated case. He was comfortable with the word, and felt free enough to use it openly, that he did so during a public broadcast. Either purposefully, for fun. Or because it is so ingrained in him that it was the word that subconsciously came to mind to test his mic. In any other job, you would no longer be the public-facing entity, and would very possibly be fired.

              We can agree to disagree on whether the punishment was fair or not. I appreciate the discussion though as I don’t think we are that far apart on it. But regarding:

              That, for me, is at the heart of this matter. I would argue that being held to your worst moment is not only something that can feel unfair – sometimes, it can be unfair.

              If people need to see a lesson of consequences, this is a good one. Intent matters, somewhat. But it is not always the controlling factor. Actions/outcomes are often more important or impactful. And if your action is so questionable or problematic that you have to explain your intent, it may be best to think about those actions beforehand next time. I would hope that Larson will think about word choice in the future. It’s not that hard to avoid slurs.

            4. Also, if they had chosen to use your list of punishments rather than firing, that might have been okay too. But I’m okay with the route they chose.

    10. This is the kind of thing I am worried about this e-sports thing that is going on now with f1 stars doing streaming and such. All it takes is one slip, one tiny slip of using the wrong word and the consequences can be catastrophic. All it literally takes in one joke that will be misunderstood on purpose and it can end your career. We live in an era where people can claim that you said the n word 40 years ago and you will get trouble for it. True or not. That has happened. And in the heat of the moment when you are streaming a race for example it is easy to say something you don’t mean or believe in just because you are angry. Even if it is not directed to anyone.

      In the uk you may have to go to trial if you use the word that in biology is used to describe our ancestors (not taking any chances here). The bar is set incredibly low for punishment. So while I like the people like lando norris who do their twitch streams and such I am also worried that one small slip can literally end their career even. We live in a world where there are people out there just looking for this kind of stuff. Who want to find the “wrong” people and punish them as hard as possible for their mistake. Or alleged mistake. Get them fired of their job, get their accounts banned, endless harassment online and offline, and so forth.

      I haven’t seen the larson incident. But it is weird how some insults are ok while others are not. Just like it is weird how some people get more freedom than others. I don’t think any word is bad enough to get suspended. Physical violence is worse and so is on track actions where the race car is used as a weapon. But a word? Just make him apologize. Try to have some perspective.

      1. Just watched it. So out of proportion. Totally.

      2. @socksolid Because you’re not from the US I feel like you don’t fully comprehend the impact the n-word has in US society. All at once it denigrates and dehumanizes African Americans while simultaneously invoking our not too distant past shame of hundreds of years of slavery, the Civil War, and the Jim Crow South. America still has not recovered from this great shame. The racial divide is as evident today as it was during the 60s civil rights movement. The word is hateful, ignorant, and is the most vile epithet that can be used in American society. It is made clear from a very early age that word is totally unacceptable and if you choose to use it, the consequences can be severe. There are no excuses that justify its use. That is the perspective of millions of people who have been enslaved, tortured, raped, murdered, persecuted, and disenfranchised. The n- word invokes that entire history in a split second.

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          14th April 2020, 10:28

          In my personal opinion, I think America is going a little too far in these actions. You are feeding a lot of counter-resentment, no matter how just or fair are your reasons. I don’t think Larson should get his career over because of this. You’re not going to persuade Larson, and many other people, that what he said is wrong. And the key word here is to persuade, rather than punish.

          It’s a pity that you, Americans, persuaded more easily the Germans and Japanese to drop their militaristic regimes than the Southerners to drop their racism (after 1865). I’m thankful for your efforts, but I think this extreme position looks like a prelude to some kind of new war. I’m not sure you’re winning the hearts and minds of the enemy.

          My question is: are you willing to treat the Larsons as enemies until they quit?

      3. William Jones
        14th April 2020, 6:56

        Progenitor is a word that can land you in court?

      4. “I don’t think any word is bad enough to get suspended. Physical violence is worse and so is on track actions where the race car is used as a weapon. But a word? Just make him apologize. Try to have some perspective.” @socksolid

        That is the sentence that should be common sense. Unfortunately for some it isnt’t. He said a bad word yes. But as any adult knows sometimes you can say it yourself in the heat of the moment. Things happen fast but the consiquences should not be done in the same heat of the moment. He didn’t hurt anyone physically but said something a bit silly.

        1. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
          14th April 2020, 8:50

          There is no reason to rationalize it or to make excuses. If you revert to that word in the heat of the moment, that means you are way to comfortable with it. There is no reason to have to word in your daily vocabulary to pop up under stress. How can people still not understand this? Just don’t say it.

          1. @passingisoverrated
            Absolutely, you are fully correct.

          2. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
            14th April 2020, 9:45

            Do you honestly feel that Larson’s career being ruined – which looks increasingly likely to be the outcome of this – is a punishment befitting his crime, @passingisoverrated?

            If the answer is yes, I have a follow-up question: Have you ever – even once – said anything which, had it been broadcast to the public, could have landed you in hot water?

            1. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
              14th April 2020, 11:24

              He is responsible for his own actions, he has said as much. As a person who is very dependant of sponsering, you have to be mindful of the things you say. Actions that reflect badly on sponsering will result in them pulling out. This is not the first sporter who faces backlash after he did or said something stupid, intended or not. He is not giving his sponser much choice.

              And no, I have never said anything that could have landed me in hot water. It is really not that hard to be civil. Though that argument is a fallacy by itself.

            2. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
              14th April 2020, 12:02

              You are right, @passingisoverrated: Larson is responsible for his own actions. But you didn’t answer my question: Do you feel that his career being ruined – which looks increasingly likely to be the outcome of this – is a punishment befitting his crime?

              As for the sponsors: Do you think they really, truly feel that cutting ties with him completely (thereby quite possibly ending his career) is an appropriate response? Or do you think that they were acting out of fear of a small, but very vocal group of activists who wanted Larson’s head on a plate, and who have proven many times in the past that they will stop at nothing to get their way?

              I’m not saying nothing should have been done. Nor am I saying the sponsors felt that nothing should be done. But there’s a pretty big grey area between “nothing at all” and what is, in fact, happening. If the proper punishment ought to have fallen somewhere in that grey area, then isn’t it problematic that it didn’t?

              I don’t know you, so I have no choice but to believe you when you say that you have never, ever said anything that could possibly have been taken the wrong way by some humorless zealot with an axe to grind. (That would make you one in roughly seven billion, but still – I’m willing to take your word for it.) But supposing that you had, would you want to be judged by the same metric that Larson is being judged by? Is that an appropriate metric – or is it excessive? And if it is excessive, shouldn’t we speak up?

            3. William Jones
              14th April 2020, 14:47

              @AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken – most adults go through their entire life without saying the most grossly offensive words from their culture. It’s not difficult.

              I know I’m not who you asked, bet here’s my take on your question. Context, I was recently banned from a forum for refusing to apologise to a person who identifies as having no gender after I addressed an audience that they were a part of as “Ladies and Gentlemen”.

              You’re not wrong when you say that some parts of that culture are going too far. My context I believe is a prime example of this. However in this case, you have not found an example.

              Firstly, you’re being dishonest by describing his career as ruined. It hasn’t been, unless you’re just as overly sensitive as the people you’re railing against, luck happens and grown ups deal with sudden and unexpected changes to their career every day all over the world. He’s incredibly lucky in fact, there is racing in every country and several series for every type of driving. Were he a 100m sprinter, or a tennis player then maybe he would have to put his career on hold for a short time, but in his situation he doesn’t even need to do that.

              Secondly, this belief that sponsors care about activists is verging on a conspiracy theory. They don’t. They care about the bottom line, and nothing else. They have pulled their sponsorship because they believe that continuing it will no longer earn the money they put into him. That’s not because a small number of activists will no longer buy their products, but because a large number of people will be subliminally put off their product by the association. Sport sponsorship is a well understood economic equation, no decision is taken that won’t pad the investors pockets, because those investors will eliminate you from your position if you do not provide growth each and every quarter. So is it appropriate, well obviously yes. The people who make those decisions have all the data, we do not, so we either assume they don’t know their own job as well as we do – hence my referencing a conspiracy theory, or we assume that they know their jobs rather well and the decision made is the best one for them in our capitalist world.

              Is his “punishment” befitting his “crime”? This question makes no sense. Sports people are paid outrageous sums of money in part to contractually not say things like what was said. He said it and broke his multiple contracts where he promised to not say words like this. Those contracts are now open to being broken by the other side. That’s not criminal law or punishment, that’s civil law and does not deal with punishment. If you make a contract, it behoves you to take it seriously. If you break it, it’s not punishment if the other side withdraw from it, you broke the contract, and so it’s gone. If you wanted to keep it, don’t break it.

            4. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
              15th April 2020, 13:24

              @William Jones – sorry, I got sidetracked yesterday, which is why I didn’t reply to your comment sooner. I just want to address a couple of the points you make.

              Firstly, you’re being dishonest by describing his career as ruined.

              Okay, I’ll give you that. His career is not ruined, at least not yet. Just severely damaged – maybe permanently so.

              [Sponsors] care about the bottom line, and nothing else.

              And do you suppose that a bunch of very loud activists generating negative publicity and encouraging boycotts and protests on every platform they have access to might adversely affect the bottom line? Maybe it’s true that I’m overestimating the activists’ power over the sponsors. But I genuinely think you’re underestimating it.

              Is his “punishment” befitting his “crime”? This question makes no sense. […] That’s not criminal law or punishment, that’s civil law and does not deal with punishment.

              Yeah, no. Sorry, but now you’re just splitting hairs. I may not have phrased my question in perfect Legalese, but I’m pretty sure everyone got the gist of it – including you. What I’m getting at is: The consequences that Larson is currently facing – are those consequences proportionate to the act he committed?

              Your reference to contract clauses is, with all due respect, a red herring: I never claimed that his sponsors weren’t within their rights (that is, their legal rights) when they cut ties with him. They obviously were, or they wouldn’t have done it. And the same thing obviously goes for his team when they decided to fire him. However, just because something is legal does not necessarily mean that it’s fair. That applies to someone saying the n-word, and it applies to those that dole out the consequences when someone has said the n-word. I’m inclined to think that, in this case, the consequences are too severe. Context matters here: Had Larson said the word to someone, or had he been a repeat offender, my opinion on the matter would have been different.

            5. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
              15th April 2020, 13:28

              Whoops, I messed up the formatting in the last sentence. It was supposed to look like this:

              Had Larson said the wordto someone, or had he been a repeat offender, my opinion on the matter would have been different.

          3. @passingisoverrated

            If you revert to that word in the heat of the moment, that means you are way to comfortable with it. There is no reason to have to word in your daily vocabulary to pop up under stress.

            I don’t think so at all. When people say these things they want to offend the other person so they pick the worst words they can. Of course it is the adult thing to not get into these arguments but if you get into such argument then you don’t pick the most pg13 words you can think of. You don’t call the other person “the least adorable bunny” to insult them. No, you go for the hard stuff not because you are comfortable with it but because you know those words hurt more. And sometimes people even use words just to shock. People I know do use rough and unacceptable words occasionally and when we do we all know we don’t mean it and I’m sure everybody does that too.

            1. @socksolid – Your argument does not hold up. If he purposefully chose that word to hurt someone, then his action was deliberate and deserves punishment. To @passingisoverrated ‘s point, if he said it because it is a commonly used word in his vocabulary, that too is concerning because it means he uses a slur in everyday life as if it has no actual meaning.

              In either case, it is the use of the word publicly that is the issue. If he wants to live his private life full of slurs and denigrating words, he is free to do so. He can think whatever he wants. But as an employee of a public company and the face of many sponsors, he has to live by their rules or kick rocks.

            2. @hobo
              I gave two possible reasons why someone might use such a word and I think you only focused on one of them. I said one might use such a word to either to insult or to just be edgy. I agree that the first one is bad but the second one is just a misjudgment and requires no more than a sincere apology in my opinion. As for using “slur in everyday life as if it has no actual meaning” I think is a misleading thing to say. Context matters more than the word used and clearly the way he said it he meant no harm to anybody. Real people don’t speak pg13 as far as I know 100% of the time. I don’t want to get too deep into this but I think Larson was not even aware so many people could hear it.

              I don’t think him saying that word once really proves that he is suddenly totally unworthy of any public job. If we really go this low then even the sponsors should not be in nascar because nobody is this clean. It is not that long that mcdonalds for example banned black people from their restaurants in china. Sure that is whataboutism on my part but if saying one word can kill your career then is it even justice anymore? The whole thing to me feels like yet another black mirror episode. This is not right, this is absurd.

            3. @socksolid – I spoke to your argument, that he meant to say it. I also spoke to @passingisoverrated ‘s argument that he said it casually. What more do you need? Do I need to address your sub-argument that he chose the word but didn’t mean anything by it?

              Here’s the thing, neither you nor I get to decide whether context (i.e. intent) matters more than the word itself. Once it leaves his mouth, he loses control of it. People react how they react, and most people will never understand what the context is in someone else’s head, that’s life.

              So, if he was amongst friends who he can trust to know he’s joking, he can feel comfortable to say whatever he wants. I still don’t think throwing around slurs is the way to go, but that’s my opinion. Here’s the rub. He was not speaking in private. He was at work. Most jobs have consequences, and even moreso for a public, company-sponsored job like his. It doesn’t matter if he thought people couldn’t hear it, they could.

              Honestly, I think he was sitting at his computer, and slipped into computer gaming mode. Which means he’s just a racist, annoying, juvenile gamer. So I’m okay with a company firing him when he brings that persona to work.

              As for your comparison to not always using PG-13 language… He didn’t use a run of the mill four-letter word. He didn’t say the stronger versions of shoot or frick. What he DID do was use a racist term as if it was nothing. Let’s be honest, he didn’t use that term once. NO ONE on Earth has used that term once and it just happened to be in a public setting, for no reason, and it just slipped out. The companies involved understood that, and chose to distance themselves.

              And you’re right, your example is very much whataboutism. I agree that a lot of people and a lot of companies don’t have clean hands. But that’s not really the issue. He isn’t going to jail. He isn’t dropped on a deserted island. He isn’t even banned from racing. He lost his job. He can go work some other job, like anyone else would have to do if they did something massively stupid and got fired.

            4. @hobo

              Do I need to address your sub-argument that he chose the word but didn’t mean anything by it?

              I was making more than just one argument. I can’t really make you do anything. Why you picked one and not the other is your choice. I’d prefer to have my argument taken as a whole and not leave important parts out. I don’t mean to say or imply that you are being dishonest here.

              People react how they react, and most people will never understand what the context is in someone else’s head, that’s life.

              I think most people can view this with context and have sensible thoughts about it. But as always there is the vocal minority and especially with social media those vocal people will instantly fill that void with massive cancel campaign. I think I agree with you that (if this is the claim you are making) the world is a dangerous place and social media will hang any public person for the smallest of mistakes so larson should have been a lot more careful. A lot more careful.

              Honestly, I think he was sitting at his computer, and slipped into computer gaming mode. Which means he’s just a racist, annoying, juvenile gamer.

              Oh no. Definitely not. I think people who think the way you do are evil people. Using a word once and clearly without bad intentions does not make him racist. Does not make anyone racist. Just no. I disagree with you fully. And even more so I disagree with the idea that saying the word once makes you a racist for the rest of your life. I don’t want to live in such world because that is just a personal disaster waiting for happen to a random person. Could happen to me, could happen to you. You don’t think it won’t happen to you but so has everybody thought to whom it has already happened. I want to live in a world where people can make an honest mistake and come back from it. Not be labelled eternally with some words that are just another form of insult and bullying. Just because he is not going to prison for it doesn’t mean he got off light. He is done. Nobody is allowed to forget his heinous crime.

              The companies involved understood that, and chose to distance themselves.

              Let’s not be gullible here. There are lots of reasons why companies would terminate his sponsorship and morals don’t have anything to do with it.

            5. @socksolid – I wasn’t trying to skip part of your argument, but he either said it on purpose or he said it accidentally, I thought I covered both even if I didn’t get into the smaller subcategories, that’s all. Understand your point.

              I don’t agree with the vocal minority paragraph. Or the following one. He did not say Frick or Shoot. He dropped a racist slur that alone should be reason enough not to say it. But add to that many people have gotten in trouble for doing the same thing in recent years. So take your pick, the moral/ethical reason not to fling about hate terms, or the personal economic reason (i.e. you’ll get fired).

              Here’s the issue you’re glossing over. HE DID NOT USE THIS WORD ONCE. He simply got caught using it once. His employers and sponsors understood that. And this could not happen to me, nor a lot of people, do you know why? Because we don’t peddle in racist words. If someone does something horrible to me, my reaction is not based on their race, it is based on their actions and their character. That is what would slip out of my mouth. But it isn’t about me, or you.

              I agree that saying a word does not make you a racist forever. He can change. But if someone lives their lives using racist terms regularly, that person is a racist. They either have no empathy for others, for whom those words have real meaning and impact, or at the very least they choose to show no empathy. They choose to use those words without concern for how they may hurt others. And like it or not, those words are race-based and have a history.

              Anyone can choose to say whatever they want, but they cannot choose the consequences.

              I’m not gullible. I realize fully that the companies may be reacting the way they did for any number of reasons, and one of those happens to be their bottom line. Companies care more about money than anything else. I get it. But just because they are revenue-focused doesn’t mean that firing him was an overreaction.

              But let’s also not be gullible and think he has only said this word once. Or that his casual use of it means he thinks everyone is equal.

            6. @hobo

              But if someone lives their lives using racist terms regularly, that person is a racist. They either have no empathy for others, for whom those words have real meaning and impact, or at the very least they choose to show no empathy. They choose to use those words without concern for how they may hurt others. And like it or not, those words are race-based and have a history.

              I don’t agree with that at all. Words have context. He didn’t hurt anybody. Who was hurt? Black person watching it? Mcdonalds? A fan who read it in a paper the next day? Using the word once does not make him racist. Using word like dumb does not mean one hates all people who were born with low iq. Using words like ugly does not mean one hates all people who have disfigured face, disease or other such thing. Because words do have context.

              I don’t agree with anything you say. What you say is evil. It is like I’m looking at a minor thing that is totally blown out of proportion. But reading your post it is like he couldn’t have done a worse thing. Because someone might have been hurt. Because using the word once somehow means he uses it all the time and that makes him some white supremacist. You don’t even seem to notice how riled up you have gotten yourself. He said the word once and you are already completely decided without any evidence that the guy not only deserves but is a pure racist who hates black people.

            7. @socksolid – I’m not sure if you are projecting or reading some fervor into my comments that isn’t there, but allow me to assure you, I am not riled up.

              The words you are using as counterexamples(?)—ugly and dumb—are words with multiple meanings, some of which may be offensive and some may not. I’m assuming you are using those words to prove a point, that we say words commonly that could be harmful? And to your point, we should think about what words we use. Guess what words most people do not use commonly. Slurs.

              Even if we get a lot better about what words we use and how we use them—like with ugly and dumb—that doesn’t mean we won’t slip up from time to time. Which is what I assume you think happened with Larson? That he slipped up and said the wrong word? Most people don’t slip up and say words that aren’t in their regular vocabulary. I feel confident that if he had accidentally said the F-word or S-word, he would have been talked to and that would have been that. The word he used is a slur, used against other races. It is not the same as crap or shoot or dang.

              He may not hate people with African ancestry. But his actions of casually using slurs mean that he is both speaking similarly to a racist, and not caring how his use of those words impacts others. I would be happy to find out he does not actively hate people. But saying the same thing a racist does, for shock value or for jokes, would still be reprehensible.

              As for who he hurt, specifically, I couldn’t say. It’s not for me to say as I do not employ him, nor do I watch NASCAR events. My guess is that his bosses and his sponsors felt that they would be hurt if they chose to do nothing, and so they did something. Feel free to petition his return. If the people who are okay with him being gone are actually a small portion of the whole, then you should get what you want.

            8. @hobo

              The words you are using as counterexamples(?)—ugly and dumb—are words with multiple meanings, some of which may be offensive and some may not. I’m assuming you are using those words to prove a point, that we say words commonly that could be harmful? And to your point, we should think about what words we use.

              Exactly. Context gives words meaning.

              Most people don’t slip up and say words that aren’t in their regular vocabulary.

              I’m going to disagree with that. What you are saying is something very vague. What is a person’s vocabulary anyways? Does it contain only words he knows or words he uses? There is already a massive difference there. Furthermore it is pretty easy to trick the brain into saying some words. The classic red hammer is a perfect example. What people say is not a result of what they think about certain group of people. It is about the situation, your thought process, your reactions and your vocabulary which I think is all the words you know. Not just the nice words. People make mistakes.

              He may not hate people with African ancestry. But his actions of casually using slurs mean that he is both speaking similarly to a racist, and not caring how his use of those words impacts others. I would be happy to find out he does not actively hate people. But saying the same thing a racist does, for shock value or for jokes, would still be reprehensible.

              He may not hate people with african ancestry? He may not? For me it just doesn’t make him a racist if he uses the word once. How can he even prove he doesn’t actively hate people? How on earth does anybody prove that? It is just so weird how he needs to prove everything and we don’t need to prove anything. Just say one bad word once and your whole character is defined by it. Completely. I see more of you hating him for being allegedly a racist than him hating any person or group.

              I said earlier that I think the way you think is just evil. If we really wanted to get rid of racism we would follow the example of daryl davis for example. Instead of using every opportunity to try to kick people out from society based on just words.. we should put effort into educating the people so these stupid beliefs of race superiority would just die out. The most evil thing behind the current way of thinking is that a lot of people think racism is not just a ideology but something people are born with it. So when we catch them we must get rid of them. Instead of educate we exclude. Larson is a millionaire as far as I know. He will be fine. But someone else who does a similar extremely minor mistake may not be.

            9. @socksolid

              Context does matter. I agree. But the context here is not helpful to him or to your argument. Again, he wasn’t singing along to a song and forgot he was on the mic. He literally used it as a call out to others to see if they could hear him. Please go use this around your town and see how people react. The context is that he used a slur like it was nothing.

              You can disagree with “most people don’t slip up and say words that aren’t in their regular vocabulary” all you want, but it makes no sense. He wasn’t tricked into saying it.

              It is about the situation, your thought process, your reactions and your vocabulary which I think is all the words you know. Not just the nice words. People make mistakes.

              Yep, you’re right. And this indicates that his thought process or his reaction went to a slur, which means it is not some random word he happens to know but does not use. How often do you slip up and say that word? Any slur? How about antidisestablishmentarianism? Quadrilateral?

              Personally, I slip up and say the F word or the S word sometimes when I shouldn’t. Sometimes at work. Do you know why? Because in casual conversation, I use those words perhaps more than I should. That’s the point.

              For me it just doesn’t make him a racist if he uses the word once. How can he even prove he doesn’t actively hate people?

              It is at this point in your comment where you jump off the proverbial cliff. It doesn’t make him a racist for using the word once. If you actually, truly believe that he has only ever said this word once, you’re crazy. And there are something things, if you do them once—and especially live on national TV, that you do not get to take back or excuse away.

              No one asked him if he hated people and then he has to prove it, having never done anything to provoke the idea. HE is the one who brought this on himself. If you use hateful speech in public, it is now on you to at least explain why that isn’t reflective of who you are.

              I see more of you hating him for being allegedly a racist than him hating any person or group.

              Right, I forgot, this is about me. I somehow generated this story, not him. I don’t hate him at all. I don’t care one way or the other. I think when things like this occur, they need to be handled. This was.

              I do not think he was born with it. I think he probably grew up around it or had friends who thought it was cool to be casual with slurs, and now it’s who he his. He can change, or not, it’s up to him. I hope this was an education to him.

              The thing is, lessons sometimes are reflective of the circumstances. As you said, context matters. So if he had said this in a classroom setting, the teacher should set him straight and perhaps teach the class about why not to use hateful language. If he said it at home and his parents disagreed, they should correct the behavior. If his friends didn’t like him using the word, they’d say so or distance themselves. All are different types of lessons based on the circumstances. But the circumstances here were a national TV broadcast. So the lesson was bigger.

              Here’s the crux. Emphasis mine.

              But someone else who does a similar extremely minor mistake may not be.

              It was not an extremely minor mistake in my opinion. And you asked for education for those who make mistakes, and I’ve tried to provide that. Not because I think you are stupid or an idiot, but because we see things differently and I’ve tried to provide a perspective different from yours. I think you have tried to provide a perspective different from mine.

              I didn’t respond to this comment of yours weeks ago, I didn’t even read it until this morning, because it seemed to me that you didn’t care about what Larson did, only how he might be harmed. And not about everyone else. How even though he said the slur, he’s somehow the victim. It is perhaps unfortunate that he lost his job, but he brought it upon himself. He can learn from it or not. It seems neither of us have changed our mind. Sometimes education doesn’t achieve goals if people do not want to learn or listen.

            10. @hobo

              Please go use this around your town and see how people react. The context is that he used a slur like it was nothing.

              He used it once to see if a specific person he already knows personally could hear him. To you that makes it even worse? Shouting the word around the town is not the same thing at all compared to saying a bad word once in a broadcast. And what does the reaction of people ven prove if I went and shouted the word? If nobody happens to care is it fine?

              And this indicates that his thought process or his reaction went to a slur, which means it is not some random word he happens to know but does not use.

              What does this even mean? Are you saying people only use words they agree with ideologically? How does it indicate anything?

              It is at this point in your comment where you jump off the proverbial cliff. It doesn’t make him a racist for using the word once.

              You said this before:

              He may not hate people with African ancestry. But his actions of casually using slurs mean that he is both speaking similarly to a racist, and not caring how his use of those words impacts others.

              You literally said he is likely racist because he said the word once. Now you are saying he is not racist. Which one is it? Or are you saying his punishment is correct because he might be racist?

              No one asked him if he hated people and then he has to prove it, having never done anything to provoke the idea. HE is the one who brought this on himself. If you use hateful speech in public, it is now on you to at least explain why that isn’t reflective of who you are.

              So he doesn’t need to prove he is not racist but he needs to explain why he is not racist? You think you are clarifying your position but you are not even able to move your goalposts with these statements… Sounds like proof to me. Impossible proof. How could he even explain anything when you already said:

              I would be happy to find out he does not actively hate people

              So how does he exactly prove that to you without proving?

              I think he probably grew up around it or had friends who thought it was cool to be casual with slurs, and now it’s who he his. He can change, or not, it’s up to him. I hope this was an education to him.

              How do you know this, based on what?

              How even though he said the slur, he’s somehow the victim.

              Sure saying the word was wrong. He was guilty there. But the crime doesn’t match the punishment in my opinion. A person can be guilty and victim at the same time. You said earlier he does not need to prove that he is not racist but he needs to explain this is not him. But you also make more assumptions of his personality. To me your argument sounds like circular logic. He said the word so he is racist. Because he is racist he uses the word all the time and is comfortable with it. Even he is not racist he might be so the punishment was correct?

              Sometimes education doesn’t achieve goals if people do not want to learn or listen.

              Exclusion does not educate.

        2. He said a bad word yes. But as any adult knows sometimes you can say it yourself in the heat of the moment

          Maybe if you’re racist. I have literally never said that word, regardless of how upset or angry or whatever I have been. Lets not get confused he its not like he got fired for swearing.

          1. You have never ever said the word? I don’t believe you.

          2. Magnus Rubensson (@)
            14th April 2020, 19:40

            “He who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    11. People who annoy you;

      N_ggers…

      A: Naggers

      1. And poor Randy’s reputation never recovered.

        1. @bernasaurus he made up for it when he jizzed all over the ‘internet-refugee-camp’!

    12. I remember being shocked when hearing james hunt use that vile word during an F1 broadcast during the 87 season(I think). Many people don’t realize how that word was used to dehumanize a group of people for hundreds of years as a tactic to strip away their human rights and also their lives. Also why it was applied to arabs when preparing to invade their lands. It is not a mere word, it is a tactic used by white supremacists to weak havoc in the world.

    13. Too many judges on their period that get offended too easy to bare.

      1. @psi So… you are saying racism is ok by making a sexist comparison? Oh, brother…

    14. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequence.

      Not a racist ? don’t use racist language, seems simple enough.

      1. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequence.

        What is it then? Freedom for your mouth to form words? My mouth has that by default.

        It is a freedom from punishment because you were being an idiot or were opposing the majority opinion since everyone is an idiot sometimes, yet their children still have to eat. It’s only in such environments, where you don’t have to fear of accidentally saying the wrong thing, that the greatest ideas, art, etc is born.

        But since a government can’t enforce that widely and society is too cruel and hypocritical (Screw that guy, I never said anything that could get me in trouble) we end up with a freedom of speech that’s akin to “Free water, but you’ll be charged after drinking it. You’re still free to take it, though.”

        1. I’m not sure why we constantly need to have a history lesson on this topic, but I’ll keep it short. And, to be clear, this is going to be from an American perspective because that’s where this incident occurred.

          Freedom of speech means that the federal government could not punish you for what you say. That was extended to state governments in the early- to mid-1900s. There are exceptions, with the most common example being to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater, but in general no government can punish you for speech.

          That is it. It does not apply to any other part of society, and never has. You can lose your private company job for what you say if it is bad enough. And if your job is public-facing, you better know what the terms of your employment are.

      2. Not a racist ? don’t use racist language

        This.

        If you “accidentally” say it in public its because you deliberately say it in private.

      3. Yeah I don’t think he is racist.

        However, the word NEVER enters my head. The way he says it; it regularly enters his.

        There is the whole argument (or is there???) of black people saying it with an hard A, etc; but if your not black and you say it no matter how, your done. Just don’t say it ever, in jest, to your bros cos there will be a time when you say if your famous and it’ll end your career.

        1. @invisiblekid – I think you are being kind to assume he’s not a racist. But, in my opinion, if someone peddles in language of hate even with no ill-intent, they are still doing damage. They are using the history of that word for shock or humor, which is callous and shows no empathy. He is past old enough to know better. He thinks it’s cool to use the word casually. That’s racist behavior, imo.

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