The only African American driver in the NASCAR Cup series said Kyle Larson deserves a second chance after being heard saying the N-word during an online race.
(Christian Petersen/Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Bubba Wallace said Larson reached out to him within five minutes of the incident, that the two had a conversation over FaceTime and that his apology was sincere.
“What Larson said was wrong, whether in public or private. There is no grey area,” Wallace wrote on Twitter. “I told him, it was too easy for him to use that word and that he has to do better and get it out of his vocabulary.”
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Wallace is no stranger to controversy. Just the week before Larson’s disastrous comment the Richard Petty Motorsports driver lost a sponsor after “rage quitting” an official online NASCAR race.
“Have I been the best ambassador at all times? Absolutely not,” Wallace wrote when discussing the microscope drivers are under. “We’re not perfect, I’m not perfect. We’re all human, we all make mistakes.”
Wallace said he would deserve to be punished under NASCAR’s code of conduct for saying the same thing, despite comments he read on social media that a double standard might allow him to get away with it, and that it hurt him to see the African American community “throw NASCAR under the bus” over the incident.
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Larson, who is of Japanese descent, was suspended from NASCAR indefinitely and fired form his Chip Ganassi Racing team.
“I am not mad at him, and I believe that he, along with most people deserve second chances, and deserve space to improve,” Wallace said.
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