NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin put the breaks on a meme he sent out mocking Asian American competitor Kyle Larson, the Bleacher Report wrote. The driver has since been ordered to undergo sensitivity training.
The post inspired by the animated series The Family Guy showed an Asian woman speaking in an exaggerated Asian accent moving across traffic lanes without signaling
Hamlin posted it to blame Larson for an accident Sunday during which Larson cut in front of Kurt Busch at the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, causing him to crash into the wall.
TMZ reports that Hamlin received immediate backlash on social media pointing out the insensitivity of using an offensive stereotype to make his point.
Hamlin then posted an apology.
“I saw how offensive it was. It came across totally wrong. I apologize,” he wrote on Twitter.
He also took down his tweet, but others still managed to share it.
The Daily Mail reports NASCAR has ordered Hamlin to undergo sensitivity training. Its unclear if he could face additional disciplinary action.
According to NBC, NASCAR rules state that “NASCAR Members shall not make or cause to be made a public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.”
It goes on to say that violators could face a penalty.
Fox News reports that Hamlin and Larson are close friends. Larson is Japanese American and has not commented on the meme.
NASCAR previously placed Larson on suspension in 2020 for using the “N” word during a live stream. He also participated in sensitivity training before returning in 2021.
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