Denny Hamlin will have to take a sensitivity training course after posting and deleting a clip from Family Guy to his Twitter account on Monday.
Hamlin posted a joke from the show stereotyping Asian drivers as a response to the final seconds of the race at Talladega. Kyle Larson went for the lead ahead of the finish line and moved up and hit Kurt Busch. Busch hit the wall and the subsequent crash that unfolded also collected Bubba Wallace. Both Busch and Wallace drive for 23XI Racing, a second-year team co-owned by Hamlin and Michael Jordan.
Larson’s maternal family is Japanese and he’s the first person from NASCAR’s Driver for Diversity program to win a Cup Series title. He and Hamlin are good friends.
Hamlin deleted the tweet hours after he posted it and issued an apology late Monday evening.
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.
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) April 26, 2022
According to NASCAR, Hamlin must begin the sensitivity training by the start of the next Cup Series race at Dover on Sunday. Hamlin drives a Toyota and 23XI has Toyota equipment. The manufacturer said it supported NASCAR’s decision.
NASCAR instituted mandated sensitivity training for all participants ahead of the 2021 season and other drivers have been required to take sensitivity training after saying or posting offensive things in recent months.
Hamlin’s longtime Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch was ordered to complete sensitivity training in November after using the R-word to describe the actions of Brad Keselowski at Martinsville. Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan had to complete sensitivity training for using the same word during a Twitch stream of a virtual race in January 2021.
Larson was suspended for most of the 2020 season and had to complete sensitivity training after using the N-word during a virtual race. He was reinstated to NASCAR upon fulfilling his requirements to return to the Cup Series and then won the 2021 title in his first season with Hendrick Motorsports.