New York Mets star pitcher Marcus Stroman wants to fight NASCAR driver Kyle Larson after the auto racer was recorded using a racial slur while competing in a live-streamed video game tournament Sunday.
Stroman took to Twitter to announced his displeasure with Larson, who he also said he should be permanently banned from racing.
Responding to a WZTV tweet reporting Larson had been suspended from racing over the incident, Stroman unleashed on the popular driver.
“He should never be allowed to race again in @NASCAR. Said that derogatory word so nonchalantly. Your apology doesn’t matter,” he tweeted.
“Post-career…I’ll fight this man in a @ufc event for charity. He needs his a– beat. Would love to hear him say that word in the octagon!” Stroman wrote.
He should never be allowed to race again in @NASCAR. Said that derogatory word so nonchalantly. Your apology doesn’t matter. Post-career…I’ll fight this man in a @ufc event for charity. He needs his ass beat. Would love to hear him say that word in the octagon! https://t.co/lZ4Hg1fxsw
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) April 14, 2020
Stroman also shared video of Larson’s use of the racial slur and commented, “Racism still prospering in society. This is way more common than any of y’all know!”
WARNING: The following video contains the use of a racial slur that some viewers will find offensive.
Racism still prospering in society. This is way more common than any of y’all know! https://t.co/bBTg16bv3A
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) April 14, 2020
Larson was racing virtually Sunday on the popular video game streaming platform Twitch when he appeared to be under the impression he had lost the audio connection to his teammates.
“You can’t hear me?” he said, followed by the N-word.
Another iRacing player quickly told the driver, “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud.”
Another player on the video was heard saying, “No way did that just happen.”
Larson, 27, issued a video apology for his use of the word on Twitter, and said that he feels the damage done to his reputation is “probably unrepairable.”
“I just want to say I’m sorry. Last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said, and there’s no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. You know, it’s just an awful thing to say,” he said in the video.
“I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and especially the African-American community. I understand the damage is probably unrepairable. And I own up to that,” Larson continued.
“But I just wanted to let you all know how sorry I am. And I hope everybody is staying safe during these crazy times. Thank you,” the driver concluded in his apology.
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 13, 2020
Larson was later fired by Chip Ganassi Racing on Tuesday and stands to lose at least an eight-figure income over the incident, according to ESPN.
“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” the team said in a statement. “As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of our organization. As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take.”
“I told Kyle he can come back from this; he can even come back from this with our team,” Ganassi told the AP. “But there really wasn’t any choice.”
Larson has also been suspended from future iRacing events online, USA Today reported.
Larson has seemingly lost a career that he spent his life building over his use of such a terrible word.
The anger that Stroman and no doubt many other are feeling is justified, but calling for violence seems like an overreaction to a situation that is already bad enough.
A lifetime ban also seems harsh.
It won’t happen immediately, but perhaps Larson can redeem himself in the eyes of those he hurt through acts of kindness and goodwill.
Ultimately, it’s up to the talented driver to decide how he wishes to approach the situation and how he intends to gain back the trust of the people he let down.
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