NASCAR racer Noah Gragson is being dragged online after his statements after liking an insensitive meme about George Floyd became a hot topic this weekend.
The Las Vegas native appeared to have liked a meme of a crab with Floyd’s face photoshopped onto it with the caption “under [the] knee.” The disgraceful post aimed at mocking the 46-year-old’s death to the tune of “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. As widely reported by REVOLT, Floyd passed away in May 2020 after former Minnesota Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for over nine minutes during an arrest.
His death was captured on cellphones by bystanders and spurred outrage and protests against police brutality across the nation. Chauvin, 45, was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in 2021. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
In his own words, Gragson owned up to engaging with the post that was liked by more than 77,000 others. “I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media. 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,” he wrote on social media.
However, his apology has been deemed empty by a flood of outraged people. “The constant disrespect people feel toward Black [people’s] deaths is insane, like wow! So disheartening,” wrote one person. “You’re disappointed that you were caught. Sad, sad world we live in. That man was murdered, and you laugh at a meme like that? Sir, keep your apology,” wrote a second individual. A third user said, “This meme was blatantly racist. Jamie Foxx only said, ‘THEY,’ and everyone assumed he meant Jewish people. The situations are not the same.”
The 25-year-old was reprimanded by the Legacy Motor Club on Saturday (Aug. 5). In a released statement, the club stated, “We have made the decision to suspend Noah Gragson effective immediately regarding his actions that do not represent the values of our team.” Gragson was slated to race in this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series in Michigan, but he has since been replaced by teammate Josh Berry.
NASCAR also reacted publicly to the incident. “NASCAR fully supports Legacy Motor Club’s decision to suspend Noah Gragson. Following his actions on social media, NASCAR has determined that Gragson has violated the Member Conduct section of the 2023 NASCAR Rule Book and has placed him under indefinite suspension,” said the organization.
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