Nascar driver suspended after allegedly liking meme mocking George Floyd

A Nascar driver has been suspended from racing after reportedly liking a meme mocking George Floyd, a Black man killed by a white police officer in 2020.

Driver Noah Gragson was suspended indefinitely and will not be allowed to participate in the racing league’s Cup Series on Sunday.

His team, Legacy Motor Club, confirmed that the suspension is related to his “actions” on social media, according to CNN.

Problems for Gragson began when a screenshot showing his Instagram account began circulating on social media. The account associated with Gragson reportedly liked a meme mocking Mr Floyd, whose death helped spark a wave of protests across the nation in 2020.

The meme shows a photo of Mr Floyd’s face and includes a reference to his death.

Though neither Nascar nor Legacy Motor Club specified exactly why Gragson was being suspended, the driver offered a non-specific apology on Twitter on Sunday.

“I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media,” Gragson wrote. “I understand the severity of this situation. I love and appreciate everyone. I try to treat everyone equally no matter who they are. I messed up plain and simple.”

Gragson’s club, Legacy Motors, tried to distance itself from the driver on Saturday, issuing a statement that his actions did “not represent the values of our team.”

Josh Berry will fill in for Gragson this weekend during the Cup Series race in Michigan.

NASCAR said that it “fully supports” Gragson’s suspension.

Chevrolet, the nameplate on the Legacy Motor Club car Gragson drove, issued its own statement distancing itself from the driver.

“Noah’s actions do not align with our beliefs and brand values. We will work with Legacy Motor Club on next steps,” the company wrote.

This was Gragson’s first full season in the Cup Series.

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