As a rising NASCAR star, Hailie Deegan, 19, is willing to take every racing opportunity she can. However, she may have injured her career after uttering a foul word during a Sunday night virtual race. While streaming a video game race on Twitch, the young female NASCAR driver said a slur that offended many people in the disabled community. Now, she has been forced to apologize for her potty mouth and come to terms with the reality that the world expects her to respect other people and not insult them as a way to have fun.
Deegan was racing during a video game when another driver came up behind her and threatened her lead. The driver nudged against her and forced the slur out of Deegan’s mouth.
“Oh! Hey!” Deegan reacted. “Who’s the r***** behind me?! Don’t do that, please.”
Because the video was live-streaming over Twitch, it quickly went viral. Deegan’s fans were deeply disappointed in the rising NASCAR star and demanded that she apologize for offending members of the disabled community. NASCAR has many fans who consider themselves disabled – both mentally and physically.
She issued a lengthy apology after the offending incident and tried to win back the fans she had lost for uttering the “R-word.”
She said: “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.”
Deegan is only the latest NASCAR driver to find themselves in hot water after they uttered offensive language during a virtual race. Back in April, Kyle Larson, a NASCAR driver, proudly said the N-word during a streaming event and was immediately punished. He was fired from his team, which was known as Chip Ganassi Racing, and he was stripped of major sponsorships. Because he said the N-word publicly, he was also suspended by NASCAR itself. However, he was eventually reinstated after meeting a series of stipulations put in place by NASCAR. Nevertheless, Larson is on suspension until 2023 for saying the slur against African Americans.
Deegan’s situation is slightly different, as she used a slur against the disabled community. However, NASCAR will likely come down hard on her for using offensive language and could potentially suspend her from future races.
NASCAR has made it very clear that they do not tolerate any type of discriminatory or hurtful language – especially when it is used against marginalized communities. Deegan may have thought her language was funny, but it was anything but that to the people who heard it. She now has to learn from her mistake and move on in order to continue her promising career in NASCAR.
Do you think NASCAR should crack down on Deegan for slighting the disabled community?