From indefinite suspension to termination: NASCAR driver Kyle Larson has been fired by his team, Chip Ganassi Racing, after using the N-word during a virtual race Sunday night. The 27-year-old was participating in an iRacing tournament that was livestreamed on Twitch at the time. "I can't see it. You can't hear me? Hey (N-word,)" Larson said after apparently experiencing communications difficulties with his spotter, who is white. Another driver told him: "Kyle, you're talking to everyone, bud." The AP calls it "a stunning downfall" for a "budding" star—and one that could cost him eight figures.
Larson was in the last year of his contract with the team and preparing to give it a go as a free agent for the 2021 season; Ganassi was steeling himself for a bidding war in hopes of keeping the sprint car driver. Instead, Ganassi had this to say: "The comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of our organization. As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take." NBC Sports reports that on Tuesday Chevrolet joined McDonald’s, Credit One Bank, and Clover in terminating their sponsorship of Larson. The AP reports a sole sponsor—Plan B Sales and Marketing—is sticking with him. (More NASCAR stories.)