It’s been about six months since NASCAR driver Kyle Larson was fired from Chip Ganassi Racing after using a racial slur on a live-streamed iRacing event.
It’s been a long, hard road for Kyle and deservedly so, but a couple days ago he penned an essay titled “Kyle Larson: My Lessons Learned,” reflecting back on his journey.
Here’s a snippet:
After I said the N-word, anger came at me from all angles. Being labeled a racist has hurt the most, but I brought that on myself. What I didn’t expect, though, were all the people who, despite their disappointment in what I did, made the choice to not give up on me. It motivates me to repay their faith by working harder, not giving up on myself, and making sure something positive comes from the harm I caused.
For far too long, I was a part of a problem that’s much larger than me. I fully admit that losing my job and being publicly humiliated was how I came to understand this. But in the aftermath, I realized that my young kids will one day be old enough to learn about what their daddy said. I can’t go back and change it, but I can control what happens from here on out.
I want them to know that words do matter. Apologizing for your mistakes matters. Accountability matters. Forgiveness matters. Treating others with respect matters. I will not stop listening and learning, but for me now, it’s about action – doing the right things, being a part of the solution and writing a new chapter that my children will be proud to read.
Fellow NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, the league’s only black driver, responded to the essay calling it a “great read” and adding that he was “proud” of Kyle on this journey.
NASCAR has not reinstated Kyle Larson at this point, who had to undergo sensitivity training as a condition for his return, however some race fans have speculated that we could see Larson behind the wheel next season.