Junior stock car driver Hailie Deegan will have to take NASCAR sensitivity training before racing in the sanctioning body’s series this year after using a slur while streaming online.
Ford Racing Development-backed driver Deegan – daughter of X Games hero Brian – was streaming her iRacing exploits on Twitch on Sunday for the first time when she said “who’s the r****d behind me, don’t do that please”.
She took to Twitter to explain after the incident, saying “I apologise to everyone who was offended by it”.
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
However, NASCAR has since announced that Deegan requires its training to continue racing under its banner.
In a short story issued on NASCAR.com, it said: “NASCAR officials will require driver Hailie Deegan to take sensitivity training before the 2021 season after her use of an offensive word during an online racing stream Sunday.”
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) January 11, 2021
Deegan, 19, began her NASCAR career in the K&N Pro Series West in 2018 and won races that year and the following season.
She made her Truck Series debut last year at Kansas, finishing 16th in a one-off, and is set to race for the same team (now renamed David Gilliland Racing) full-time in the Truck Series in 2021.
Deegan is not the first driver to fall foul of using a slur in a broadcast esports event.
Last year, Cup Series race winner Kyle Larson used a racial slur. He was suspended by NASCAR and sacked from his Chip Ganassi Racing seat.
The 28-year-old underwent sensitivity training and was reinstated, joining the Hendrick Motorsports team as seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson’s replacement.