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‘N-word’ heard on hot mic costs NASCAR driver his career; angry Mets pitcher wants him in UFC ring

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Pitcher Marcus Stroman of the New York Mets wants to get in the ring with NASCAR driver Kyle Larson after the latter uttered the “n-word” during a live broadcast of a virtual race, apparently thinking his audio was cut.

Larson uttered the racial slur while engaged with the Twitch video game streaming app during NASCAR’s iRacing series, created after most all professional sporting leagues have shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“You can’t hear me?” Larson said, adding, “Hey, [racial slur].”

At that point, according to Fox News, one of the 61 drivers noted, “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud.” Another added: “No way, did that just happen?”

Stroman, who is black and very outspoken on social media, criticized Larson directly on Tuesday.

“He should never be allowed to race again in @NASCAR,” the 28-year-old right-hander tweeted.

“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 a** beat. Would love to hear him say that word in the octagon!”

It’s not clear how many people were streaming the virtual race at the time Larson uttered the slur, but it doesn’t matter at this point because NASCAR has suspended him without pay.

Larson has apologized for the slur, noting that there is “no excuse” for using the word and that he “wasn’t raised that way.” His father is white and his mother is Japanese-American, Fox News noted.

“I made a mistake, said the word that should never, ever be said,” Larson said, as reported by ESPN. “There is no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. It is just an awful thing to say. 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. But I just want to let you all know how sorry I am, and I hope everyone is staying safe during these crazy times,” he added.

Whenever his suspension from the sport ends, Larson is going to have to search for a new team because he was fired from Chip Ganassi Racing on Monday, despite a reputation for being one of the top sprint car drivers in the country.

“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” Ganassi said in a statement, according to ESPN. “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.”

He also lost several sponsors including Clover, Credit One Bank, and McDonald’s.

Earlier in April, another driver, Bubba Wallace, was let go by his sponsor after he became so ticked off during a virtual race he quit early.

Jon Dougherty

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