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The popular racing simulator iRacing has claimed another victim, this time 19-year-old rising star Hailie Deegan, who used the “R-word” in an unguarded moment.
And while regrettable — Deegan offered a quick apology — in newly woke NASCAR, where door pulls made of rope are seen as nooses and an example of “racism,” such an offense will result in getting sent to a reeducation camp. Well, that may be a little heavy, but sensitivity training is a must.
NASCAR is sending Deegan to sensitivity training after she used the “slur” during an online simulation race on Sunday, Fox News reported.
“This is fun. Oh, ay, who’s the r—-d behind me? Don’t do that please,” Deegan said, while streaming the iRacing event on Twitch.
Taking to Twitter afterwards, the popular driver called her actions “inappropriate” and “stupid,” offering a sincere apology.
“Earlier tonight I used an insensitive word during an online race being broadcast on twitch,” she said. “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.”
Earlier tonight I used an insensitive word during an online race being broadcast on twitch. 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.
— Hailie Deegan (@HailieDeegan) January 11, 2021
The effervescent driver, who scored a full-time ride in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2021, teaming with DGR-Crosley Racing, is seen by many in the sport as a transformative female competitor fully capable of taking the baton from former NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, who ended her racing career in 2018.
Deegan is also in the Ford Performance driver development program, since 2019.
“We are aware of this inappropriate comment,” the automaker said, according to NBC Sports. “Hailie immediately acknowledged this mistake, has apologized and promised to be much more thoughtful in the future.”
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Last year, driver Kyle Larson was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR after using a racial slur during an iRacing event on April 12, 2020, and dropped by his race team.
The sanctioning body required him to attend sensitivity training and the remorseful driver took additional steps on his own to rehabilitate his image.
Larson, seen as one of the most talented drivers in the sport, was reinstated after being exiled for six months, and signed a multi-year deal with Hendrick Motorsports to drive the No. 5 car in the Cup Series in 2021.
“Kyle is unquestionably one of the most talented race car drivers in the world,” said owner Rick Hendrick at the time. “He has championship-level ability and will be a significant addition to our on-track program. More importantly, I have full confidence that he understands our expectations and will be a tremendous ambassador for our team, our partners and NASCAR.”
As for reactions to Deegan, it would be foolhardy to suggest a tweet from last year’s Daytona 500 didn’t play a role in how some people responded — the tweet she linked to below was of her posing with President Trump and first lady Melania Trump.
(That tweet no longer exists because of Twitter’s censorship of Trump.)
Today’s goal. Get my helmet signed by Trump https://t.co/5v9y2vrjPg
— Hailie Deegan (@HailieDeegan) February 16, 2020
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter that haven’t been censored:
NASCAR is getting over sensitive. Most people didn’t notice what you said but due to the actions of nascar, everyone has.
— Nick Skias (@nickskias) January 13, 2021
People keep attacking drivers on Iracing for every little thing they say and there will be no more drivers on Iracing. I’ve heard way worse from subscribers and they don’t get reported or apologize
— Eric (@Stickman779) January 11, 2021
She apologized, quit cryin, quit bitchin, and move on
— Idk Player 🇺🇸 (@IdkPlayer) January 11, 2021
I supported you until you posted that pic with Trump. Then I decided to give you another chance cuz deep down inside I think you’re a good person.
As a deaf person, what do I do now? Unfollow you?
— Ian Portnoy (@disAPPility) January 11, 2021
As a father of a child with down syndrome,yes it is offensive. I have followed you and your family for a long time. I know your sorry and I have no doubt you will learn from this. Apologies accepted!
— Jeff Hall (@jeffahall68) January 11, 2021
Damn people are soft 🤦♂️🤦♂️
Most people on here who got offended by that. Must of not of grown up on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 public lobbies 🤦♂️
Ridiculous that the cancel culture people on Nascar Twitter try to cancel everyone over stupid crap like this 🤦♂️
— Nathan Marlow (@ndawgeighty8) January 11, 2021
It’s so disappointing to see women in racing be incredibly poor role models. You do absolutely nothing for women in the industry except continue to set them back. It’s really a shame.
— Pippa 🐁 (@start_yr_engine) January 11, 2021
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