Lodi News-Sentinel

NASCAR mandates sensitivit­y training for Hamlin after tweet

- — Alex Andrejev, The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR is requiring Cup driver and 23XI Racing coowner Denny Hamlin to complete sensitivit­y training after Hamlin tweeted a racist joke targeted at competitor Kyle Larson.

Hamlin on Monday tweeted a 10-second clip from the cartoon television series Family Guy that stereotype­s Asian drivers.

The name “Kyle Larson” appeared over the driver in the cartoon. Larson is halfJapane­se.

The clip was then edited to show the finish of Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeed­way, in which Larson moved up a lane while driving his No. 5 Chevrolet battling for the win approachin­g the startfinis­h line. Upon doing so, Larson took out both of Hamlin’s 23XI cars by hitting the No. 45 Toyota driven by Kurt Busch, who rammed the outside wall after contact and immediatel­y bounced into the No. 23 Toyota driven by Bubba Wallace.

Hamlin issued an apology and removed the thread late Monday night, writing on Twitter, “I took down a post I made earlier today after reading some of the comments. It was a poor choice of memes and I saw how it was offensive. It came across totally wrong. I apologize.”

A NASCAR spokespers­on said Tuesday afternoon that NASCAR alerted Hamlin that he must complete sensitivit­y training and the process must be started by the end of the week.

Hamlin, a frequent Twitter user, posted in the caption of the original tweet, “I leave this here without comment.”

In a thread issued immediatel­y after the first tweet, Hamlin wrote, “Let me say this. I tweet because A it’s funny as s---. B because we are friends.”

The final tweet in the thread said, “Oh and C. Yes I’m aware I wrecked him at Atlanta… lighten up people!!! Have a laugh and enjoy the day.”

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