A NASCAR driver has lost a sponsorship after an organization cited a racially insensitive remark made over three decades ago.
But the IndyCar driver making his NASCAR debut Saturday, Conor Daly, wasn’t even born when the alleged racial slur was made.
Lilly Diabetes pulled its sponsorship of Daly’s No. 6 car in the NASCAR Xfinity race at Road America because of a comment made by his father, Derek Daly, over 30 years ago, according to RTV6 The Indy Channel.
The organization claimed its focus on raising awareness of resources for people living with diabetes was being overshadowed by the comment made by Daly’s father in the 1980s.
“Unfortunately, the comments that surfaced this week by Derek Daly distract from this focus, so we have made the decision that Lilly Diabetes will no longer run the No. 6 at Road America this weekend,” Lilly said.
Daly took to Twitter to comment on the “unnecessarily difficult ride” his family had endured in the last 24 hours.
The last 24hrs have been quite an unnecessarily difficult ride for my family. There is A LOT I want to say… but I’m still here and still racing. I appreciate the support from @roushfenway and ALL of you. @LillyDiabetes has been a big part of my career and Im very thankful. #6
— Conor Daly (@ConorDaly22) August 24, 2018
Derek Daly, a freelance racing analyst and former CART and Formula One driver, was fired though he denied being the source of the racial slur and seemed to prompt the retirement of longtime Indianapolis Colts sportscaster Bob Lamey.
“Last night WISH-TV severed ties with me after former sports broadcaster Bob Lamey apparently inaccurately attributed a racial slur to me during an interview in the early 80’s,” Daly said in a statement. “It was reported on their website that I confirmed this. Both of these reports are factually incorrect. On this subject, I was never interviewed by Bob Lamey. The slanderous statements made by Bob, and now being attributed to me, are not only factually incorrect, but offensive.”
A radio employee filed a complaint against Lamey last week for the slur, leading the 79-year old to announce his retirement the next day amid profuse apologies.
Daly, who had just moved to the U.S. at the time of the alleged comments, said he was “mortified” to learn how the term was used.
“When I used that phrase in the early 80’s, I had no idea that in this country that phrase had a horribly different meaning and connotation, as it was commonplace in Ireland. After moving to the United States, I quickly learned what a derogatory term it was,” Daly said. “When I was first informed of this, I was mortified at the offense I might have caused people. I have therefore never used the word since. I made this mistake once, but never again. …”
“I want everyone to know I deeply regret and sincerely apologize for what I said more than three decades ago,” he added.
Despite Daly’s statement and the ensuing fallout over a 30-year-old remark, Conor Daly is feeling the repercussions for something that happened before he was even born. His classy response earned him kudos on Twitter.
Conor keeps trying to build the bridge with the company that torched it. That’s all you need to know about the type of person @ConorDaly22 is. #AllClass #IndyCar #Nascar Shame on you @LillyDiabetes https://t.co/B4Lr6ve3SI
— Tim Poole (@timpoole_1) August 25, 2018
Classy statement, Conor. You could have come out swinging, but you took the high road. Nothing, but respect for and your family. Stuff like this is why I’m a fan! Go get ’em tomorrow, man!!! ? pic.twitter.com/IFQomPjevt
— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerTW) August 25, 2018
We’re behind you and your family. Hang tough, and good luck Conor.
— Chris Widlic (@Chris_Widlic) August 25, 2018
The collective face-palms across the internet over Lilly Diabetes’ decision to revoke Daly’s sponsorship were almost audible.
Ridiculous to punish a kid who wasn’t even born yet when his Dad said it… BAD decision Lily.
— Tracy McQuitty Uhrig (@TJBoilerbacker) August 25, 2018
So if it only takes a relative making the remark, before we’re even born, then I think we need to check into comments from Lily board member’s relatives. I see skeletons everywhere!
— AB (@indyAB) August 25, 2018
Wait… hold up.
So a guy loses sponsorship because of a bad remark a family member said 30 years ago and before he was even born?? What the shit is this?
We are living in criminally stupid times. https://t.co/PXlvY6j2ID
— Sure, Jan (@LilMissRightie) August 25, 2018
I’ll take ‘Liberal Insanity’ for a $1,000 Alex.
— ?? Deb–Unapologetic Plastic Straw User (@debster7301) August 25, 2018
Out: A five year old tweet gets you fired.
In: A forty year old remark by your dad costs you a sponsorship. https://t.co/SqtPzu6xzb
— Dan (@danieltobin) August 25, 2018
Absolutely ridiculous ?
— Kim Whittaker (@Kimmerbim) August 25, 2018
Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. ? pic.twitter.com/WrkSXdofg2
— TriggaNometry ❌ (@grindingdude) August 25, 2018
Well, he should’ve thought of that before his dad said something that offended people
before he was born https://t.co/SBWFOREMfr
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) August 25, 2018
We live in a time where a vile racist gets a job with the New York Times and Hollywood A-listers demand that a guy who tweeted about pedophilia get his job back
Your actions here are insane, @LillyDiabetes
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) August 25, 2018
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