NASCAR is sending 19-year-old Hailie Deegan to sensitivity training after using a slur during an online race on Sunday.
While streaming the iRacing event on Twitch, users heard Deegan saying, “This is fun. Oh, ay, who’s the r—-d behind me? Don’t do that please.”
Following the race, Deegan took to Twitter to apologize and referred to the word as “inappropriate slang.”
“Earlier tonight I used an insensitive word during an online race being broadcast on Twitch,” Deegan tweeted. “It was inappropriate slang and a stupid thing to do. I apologize to everyone who was offended by it. There’s no excuse for it, and I know I have to do better for my sponsors and my fans.”
Deegan is a member of the Ford Performance Racing team. Following the incident, Ford released a statement to Fox News.
“We are aware of this inappropriate comment. Hailie immediately acknowledged this mistake, has apologized and promised to be much more thoughtful in the future,” Ford said in the statement.
Decision Comes Before Hailie Deegan Begins Season
However, the apology was too little too late. On Monday, NASCAR confirmed that Deegan would complete the program before starting the 2021 season in February. As of now, NASCAR has scheduled Deegan to kick off her first full-time season in the Camping World Truck Series, driving a Ford F-150 for David Gilliland Racing.
David Gilliland Racing has yet to comment on the incident, but Ford said she “acknowledged this mistake, has apologized and promised to be much more thoughtful in the future.”
In a statement made by iRacing, a spokesman told Fox News that it does not comment on individual members, but its code of community standards does not allow the type of language Deegan used.
Last April, NASCAR suspended Cup Series driver Kyle Larson after using the N-word during an iRacing event. Like Deegan, he too had to complete sensitivity training before reinstating him to the year’s series.