NASCAR recently made its decision on a punishment for the 19-year-old rising star, Hailie Deegan, who was caught using a slur during a Twitch stream.
Deegan is an up-and-coming NASCAR driver who was heard recently using a term that disparages those with intellectual disabilities during an iRacing event. The stream was the first from her personal account on the popular streaming site Twitch and has since been deleted.
The comments came during the Twitch stream of an iRacing virtual race. She used the word while talking about another driver in the race who had seemingly bumped her car. Video of the exchange was captured and uploaded to Twiter shortly after.
“This is fun. Oh! Hey!” Deegan said after another driver nudged her virtual car. “Who’s the r***** behind me?! Don’t do that, please.”
Deegan’s comments prompted a significant backlash in the motorsports community. And last week, NASCAR officially ruled that she will be required to undergo sensitivity training prior to the start of the 2021 racing season.
The official NASCAR Twitter account posted the update about their decision on Deegan. The young driver will head to sensitivity training as a reprecussion.
This isn’t the first time controversy has surrounded an iRacing live stream. During an iRacing event that took place back in April of 2020, NASCAR star Kyle Larson used a racial slur.
Hailie Deegan Posts Apology to Social Media
Deegan made a public apology the night before NASCAR announced that she would have to complete sensitivity training. Following the race, she referred to her comments as “inappropriate slang.””
“Earlier tonight I used an insensitive word during an online race being broadcast on twitch,” Deegan wrote on Twitter. “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. They promptly sent out a statement to Fox News regarding Deegan’s slur.
“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.
The 19-year-old driver is set to compete in her first season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. She will be driving with David Gilliland Racing. She made her series debut with the team last October at Kansas Speedway.
Furthermore, Deegan is a three-time winner in what is now called the ARCA Menards Series West.
The 19-year-old grew up racing off-road and on dirt. However, she made the transition to competing on asphalt in 2016 to pursue a career in stock car racing. She began her career in NASCAR in 2018 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
In addition, she became the first female driver to have won races in the West Series, doing so in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Hailie Deegan is the daughter of freestyle motocross rider Brian Deegan.