CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace responded Thursday to fellow driver Kyle Larson’s Sunday use of a racial slur during a live stream.
Wallace, the only African-American running full-time in any of NASCAR’s top three national series, posted a lengthy statement to Twitter regarding Larson’s use of the n-word.
“As much as I didn’t want to be involved, I was from the very beginning,” Wallace wrote. “There is a part of my background and culture that feels attacked and hurt.”
Larson was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR Monday. All of his major sponsors, including McDonald’s, Credit One Bank and Chevrolet ended their partnership with Larson. Chip Ganassi Racing suspended and later fired Larson.
Larson was competing in an iRacing event when he appeared to lose communication on his headset with his spotter. He said during a check of his microphone “you can’t hear me?” That was followed by the n-word.
RELATED: What’s next for Larson, NASCAR?
On Monday, Larson issued his own Twitter statement offering his apologies.
“It’s NOT just a word,” Wallace said Thursday. “There is a ton of negative meaning behind the word.”
Read Wallace’s complete statement:
As much as I didn’t want to be involved, I was from the very beginning. There is a part of my background and culture that feels attacked and hurt, and the other part feels confused and angry. Let’s start off with the word. It’s NOT just a word. There is a ton of negative meaning behind the word. Doesn’t matter if a person uses it in an offensive way or not. The word brings many terrible memories for people and families and brings them back to a time that WE as a community and human race have tried our hardest to get away from. The sport has made combatting (sic) this stereotype one of their top priorities. NASCAR has been doing what it can to away from the “racist and redneck sport” labels. Diversity and inclusion is a main priority for sport across every team, every car, every crew member and employee. With that said, it hurts to see the African American community immediately throw NASCAR under the bus with the “I’m not shocked, it’s NASCAR.” NASCAR has been, and will be way better than how we’ve been represented in the last couple of weeks. As the person that arguably has the biggest voice on this topic in our sport, it’s tough for me to speak to because I didn’t imagine us being here. Can we all do a better job with inclusion? Absolutely, it’s a worldwide problem, not just in our sport. We as humans can always do better.