NASCAR ordered veteran driver Kyle Busch to take sensitivity training after calling another racer’s driving — not the driver himself — “retarded” in a post-race interview on Sunday.
The other driver, Brad Keselowski, hit Busch in what seemed an attempt to pass him but fouled them both up instead. Busch responded after the race, “I mean, where was he going? What was he going to do? Spin me out? He was trying to do a Harvick is what he was trying to do. For what? For second place? For what? He wasn’t going to transfer through with that. Freaking retarded, man.”
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) October 31, 2021
Busch must now undergo the training before the start of the 2022 season.
The official statement from NASCAR reads, “The two-time series champion used a term that disparages those with intellectual disabilities when describing an on-track incident with Brad Keselowski. Both drivers were eliminated from title contention ahead of the Phoenix Raceway finale.”
Keselowski didn’t seem to be bothered by Busch’s statement, though he responded on Twitter about the matter.
“Since some people are copying me on social media with other’s comments I’ll say this in response- I used to get mad when people said mean things about me and respond out of anger. Now I just feel bad for them. For their family’s sake, I have no desire to go any deeper than that.”
Since some people are copying me on social media with other’s comments I’ll say this in response-
I used to get mad when people said mean things about me and respond out of anger. Now I just feel bad for them. For their family’s sake, I have no desire to go any deeper than that.
— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 31, 2021
In a day and age where everyone is oversensitive, they’ve forgotten that the word “retarded” has a perfectly standard definition separate from its offensive counterpart – “to delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment.”
It’s the same way everyone seems to forget that when your phone autocorrects that one word to “ducking,” it’s a real word that has nothing to do with the animal.
It would be understandable if he repeated the same mistake NASCAR Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan did prior to the start of the 2021 season. Deegan turned the word derogatory by directing it specifically at a person rather than a situation. During a live-streamed online simulation race, she said, “Who’s the retard behind me?”
But alas, we are arguing semantics, and Busch has already apologized for his statement.
In one of my post-race interviews I used a word I should never use and I want to apologize for it.
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) November 1, 2021
He will be competing on Sunday, November 7, in Phoenix and was not issued a fine.