American NASCAR racer Denny Hamlin apologized on Tuesday for sharing a meme depicting a harmful Asian stereotype to make light of a crash that happened at a race over the weekend.
Hamlin, 41, had shared a clip from a “Family Guy” episode on Twitter the day before that depicts an Asian woman driving recklessly, in reference to a crash that Kyle Larson, who is half Japanese, caused during the Geico 500 race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.
Hamlin, a minority partner of NASCAR team 23XI Racing owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan, eventually took down his tweet and apologized for his action.
“I took down a post I made earlier today after reading some of the comments,” Hamlin wrote. “It was a poor choice of memes and I saw how it was offensive. It came across totally wrong. I apologize.”
In a statement released that same day, NASCAR shared they had ordered Hamlin to complete a sensitivity training that must begin by the end of this week.
“We have spoken with Denny Hamlin regarding his tweet from yesterday. Toyota supports NASCAR’s decision to mandate sensitivity training for Denny and we will all move forward together,” representatives from Toyota, which Hamlin is affiliated with as a team owner, said in a statement, NASCAR reported.
Larson, whose mother is Japanese American, has yet to release a comment addressing the matter; however, the Asian American racer and Hamlin are reportedly “great friends” outside the track.
Larson was previously ordered to attend sensitivity training in October 2020 after he was caught on livestream saying the “n-word.”