NASCAR reinstates driver Kyle Larson after he was suspended for saying a racial slur

NASCAR reinstates driver Kyle Larson after he was suspended for saying a racial slur

Six months after NASCAR suspended driver Kyle Larson for using a racial slur, organization officials are welcoming him back.

The racing governing body barred Larson indefinitely in April, after he said the N-word during a virtual racing event.

Larson has since apologized for his actions.

“I was rightly suspended by NASCAR and fired from my job with a top-tier team,” he wrote in an essay, published in October on his website.

“I jeopardized the livelihoods of the crew members who had poured their careers into building me fast racecars. My fans were upset. In an instant, I turned a lot of lives upside down and destroyed my own reputation.”

Larson went on to explain that he took extra steps to educate himself, which included hiring a diversity coach and having multiple conversations with people who do not look like him.

“What gives me hope and humbles me is how so many people have opened their doors to lift up someone who probably doesn’t deserve it and to share perspectives I should’ve sought on my own a long time ago,” he said.

“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.”

NASCAR said that Larson applied to be reinstated on Friday, and it was accepted Monday.

He was required to complete sensitivity training as a condition for reinstatement, but the racing organization said he will also have continued requirements to fulfill in order to keep his NASCAR membership current.