"It was a poor choice of memes" - Denny Hamlin apologizes after posting offensive tweet directed at Kyle Larson

Denny Hamlin waits on the grid before the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin waits on the grid before the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin seemingly bit off more than he could chew after last Sunday's Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

The 41-year-old NASCAR veteran posted a tweet aimed at Kyle Larson after the GEICO 500 in light of the latter's moves on track.

Larson moved up from the bottom lane of the Lincoln, Alabama Oval to defend on the final lap of the 500-mile race. This caused 23XI Racing's Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace Jr. to crash.

Hamlin, being the co-owner of 23XI Racing, took the opportunity to tweet a clip from the show 'Family Guy' that showed an Asian female crashing her car.

Larson's name was imposed on the female driver since his mother is of Asian-American descent.

See Denny Hamlin's deleted tweet below:

The Tampa, Florida native, however, took the tweet down on the same day after looking at fans' reactions. He also apologized for his post, writing:

"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."

See the tweet below:

The original tweet, supposedly directed at Kyle Larson, was deemed racially insensitive by fans, and the Hendrick Motorsports driver did not react to the same.

It is worth noting, however, that Hamlin and Larson are good friends, and the tweet could have been nothing more than a little leg-pulling.


NASCAR likely to take action on Denny Hamlin's tweet

The governing body of the highest echelon in stock car racing is known to have a zero-tolerance policy against racial slurs.

Section 4.3.e of the NASCAR Cup Series Rule Book states:

“NASCAR Members shall not make or cause to be made a public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.”

Denny Hamlin found himself on the wrong side of the statement after he made the joke about Kyle Larson, which was deemed racially insensitive.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver could receive penalties under section 4.4.e of the NASCAR Cup Rule Book, which states:

“Statement and/or communication made public (including social media platforms) that demeans, criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition."

It remains to be seen how NASCAR decides to enforce its rules on Hamlin.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh