Bubba Wallace supported an essay on racial sensitivity by fellow driver Kyle Larson. In the essay, Larson discusses what he learned the past few months since his suspension. NASCAR suspended him for using a racial slur in an e-sports event on Easter Sunday. Chip Ganassi Racing also released the 28-year-old driver from their team.
In the tweet, Wallace wrote, “Great read, proud of Kyle.”
In his essay, Kyle Larson discussed his suspension from NASCAR.
In the essay, Larson discussed how he let down his team, fans and even his parents after the slur. Over the past few months, Larson said he learned from his mistake.
“I was rightly suspended by NASCAR,” Larson wrote. “I jeopardized the livelihoods of the crew members who had poured their careers into building me fast race cars. My fans were upset. In an instant, I turned a lot of lives upside down and destroyed my own reputation.”
Larson said he spoke with an assortment of people over the past few months. He visited with young driving enthusiasts, many of whom were black, at the Urban Youth Racing School. He also spoke with fellow drivers including Wallace and Willy T. Ribbs about “empathy” and the “black experience” in the country. One of the toughest conversations Larson said he had was with Mike Metcalf, a black crew member on his team.
“I’ve received a lot of straight talk from Mike and others since April,” Larson wrote. “But 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.”
Larson said he disappointed his parents, who still supported and guided him the past few months. Larson is half Japanese. The U.S. government held his maternal grandparents in an internment camp during World War II.
“The N-word is not mine to use. It cannot be part of my vocabulary,” Larson said. “After I said the N-word, anger came at me from all angles. Being labeled a racist has hurt the most, but I brought that on myself. What I didn’t expect, though, were all the people who, despite their disappointment in what I did, made the choice to not give up on me. It motivates me to repay their faith by working harder, not giving up on myself, and making sure something positive comes from the harm I caused.”
[H/T: Kyle Larson Racing]