By Mike Davis
I woke up to a storm. It wasn’t the weather system that bulldozed the Southeast overnight. It was news about a virtual race Sunday in which Kyle Larson used a racial slur after asking a friend over a live audio feed, “You can’t hear me?”
Turns out, ironically, he was heard.
As we prepare to tape a new episode of The Dale Jr. Download today, I am deep into processing my thoughts of what Kyle said and his indefinite suspension by NASCAR. Don’t confuse that with preparing talking points. I try to process my thoughts any time before I speak, whether it be before a podcast, cashing out at the grocery counter, or asking my wife if she has thoughts about dinner.
Writing helps, hence why I am doing this. Here’s where I am:
I am one who tries not to assume the worst in folks. I am one who does not shun people. I am one who does not allow social media to influence my opinions or define others for me. I believe in forgiveness and redemption. All of that said, the intentional use of that word provides no room for an alibi.
No doubt there are many big problems with what was said over that live stream. But one of the biggest errors we can commit in response is focusing on the fallout of Kyle’s slur rather addressing the root problem, which is simply this: that word belongs in nobody’s vernacular. It's repulsive. If it exists within your psyche, then you have the propensity to use it. And if you use it, then it's well within my right and everyone else's to judge, assume the worst, and not wait for explanations. This coming from me -- the one person ordinarily against impulsive reactions. But with that word, well, the path to redemption for those who use it should be no less difficult than the path to forgiveness for anyone forced to hear it.
This is my opinion as of Monday morning. I don't speak for anyone else. I look forward to taping our DJD episode today.