Hailie Deegan, American professional stock car racing driver and full-time NASCAR competitor, was caught saying the ‘r’ word during a live stream on Twitch, the video game platform.
With a large TikTok following of 2.4 million, Deegan faced major back-lash from offended viewers, fans and sponsors.
Read below to find out just why.
What is the ‘r’ word and why did she say it?
On 10th January 2021, Hailie was undergoing a virtual race in the game iRacing, a popular racing simulation that is sometimes broadcasted live by professional racers when her car was bumped from behind.
The racer happened to be streaming for the first time on her Twitch channel, where the virtual race was being broadcasted to viewers.
In a clip that was shared to Twitter, Hailie can be heard expressing her annoyance to another competitor as used offensive slur to describe the player behind her.
“Oh, ay, who’s the r*tard behind me? Don’t do that please,”
The word is a derogatory term for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and therefore offended many viewers.
Who is Hailie Deegan?
19-year-old Hailie Deegan is the daughter of professional motocross driver Brian Deegan and has been touted as young, female face for NASCAR’s fanbase.
Deegan competes full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, she is currently a Ford Racing Development driver and an all-round professional stock car racing driver.
Hailie posted a TikTok replying to a comment asking about the twitch stream shortly before undergoing the virtual race.
With her large following of over 2 million on the platform, she is now receiving backlash in the comments of this video with many users claiming that the TikTok “didn’t age well…”
What has happened since?
With a Twitter following of 119.9K, Hailie took to this social media platform to express her apologies and regret about the occurrence during the live stream.
When referring to the insensitive term she used, the racer stated:
“It was inappropriate slang and a stupid thing to do.”
NASCAR announced that Hailie Deegan will now be required to undergo sensitivity training before the 2021 season due to her use of the offensive slur during a virtual race.
In a recent statement, Ford Performance quoted:
“Hailie immediately acknowledged this mistake, has apologised and promised to be much more thoughtful in the future,”
Fans of the racer are now wondering whether Hailie’s reputation can recover from this scandal-like situation.