NASCAR mandates sensitivity training for Hamlin after tweet
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.”