Champion Japanese American NASCAR driver Kyle Larson said his friend Denny Hamlin used “poor judgment” when he ridiculed Larson with a racially charged tweet.
As AsAmNews previously reported, Hamlin superimposed Larson’s name over a scene from the animated show The Family Guy during which an Asian woman drives erratically across several lanes while speaking in an exaggerated Asian accent.
The two drivers are friends and Hamlin meant to tease his friend. Hamlin has since been ordered to attend sensitivity training.
“It’s poor judgment on his part,” said Larson. “Being in the position we’re in, we have to be very careful what you put out in the public. I know he’ll learn a lot in the next couple of weeks and we’re ready to move past it and get back to focus on racing.”
Hamlin sent out his tweet after Larson caused an accident during the Geico 500 last week.
Hamlin said he respects the decision to punish him, but feels his intentions are being misinterpreted.
“My reaction to the negative, they just didn’t understand what I was doing there. [I was] just placing a joke,” he explained to NASCAR insider Bob Pockrass, reported The Spun. “… I respect [NASCAR’s] decision. I understand where they’re at with it. I’ve done my own sensitivity training. I did diversity training on my own when I started this race team… I understand it all. I don’t think this fell into that category.
“I thought it was hilarious, but it also is insensitive,” he added. “I definitely understand how some people could find it offensive. If it’s one, then it’s one too many.”
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Hamlin is a friend and he thinks it’s ok to racially ridicule? Just goes to show just how far the general American public has to go to recognize non-white and equal members of the American population.
Would Hamlin think it’s ok for people to stereotype him as an uneducated hillbilly?