NASCAR: Daytona 500

Darrell "Bubba" Wallace tweeted out a block of text with his response to fellow NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson saying the n-word during a virtual race. The 26-year-old Wallace initially wanted to avoid making a public comment on the issue, but eventually realized that whether he liked it or not, his identity attached him to the story as one of the most successful black drivers in the sport's history, and the only one with a full-time Cup Series ride right now.

Wallace's statement begins with an explanation of how the n-word is not "just a word," and his disappointment in people attributing this expression as a result of NASCAR's culture, ultimately defending the organization he's a part of for taking steps to improve on diversity and inclusivity. He then notes that he spoke to Larson one day after the incident -- this was after Larson had texted him within five minutes of the incident, and tried calling Wallace later that day -- and believes his apology was sincere.

"His emotions and pride were shattered," Wallace's statement read. "We discussed why he chose to use that language and I shared my thoughts. ... I told him it was too easy for him to use the word and that he has to do better and get it out of his vocabulary."

He added that he'll be working with Larson to "address diversity and inclusion in our sport" before going on about the frustrations of athlete reverence in American culture. The latter point culminates in Wallace pointing out that the NASCAR rule book has a line against using racially disparaging language for members and that all members need to live up to that standard set.

Wallace's full statement can be read below: