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NASCAR driver suspended for liking meme mocking George Floyd's death

Noah Gragson has been replaced in this weekend's NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan.
NASCAR driver suspended for liking meme mocking George Floyd's death
Posted at 7:16 AM, Aug 06, 2023

NASCAR driver Noah Gragson has been suspended after liking an insensitive George Floyd meme on Instagram. 

Images of the post Gragson liked made its rounds on social media last week.

The meme he liked mocked Floyd, who was a Black man killed by police in 2020 after an officer knelt on his neck for 9 1/2 minutes, sparking national outrage.

"We have made the decision to suspend Noah Gragson effective immediately regarding his actions that do not represent the values of our team," Legacy Motor Club said in a statement on Saturday. "Josh Berry will drive the No. 42 entry for this weekend's NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan." 

Berry said he found out two hours before practice Saturday that he would be replacing Gragson in Sunday's Cup Series race.

NASCAR also released a statement in support of the decision. 

"NASCAR fully supports Legacy Motor Club's decision to suspend Noah Gragson," said NASCAR. "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." 

Gragson expressed regret over his actions in a statement posted on X.

"I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media," said Gragson. "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." 

The length of Gragson's suspension has not yet been made clear.

Seemingly in response to the decision to pull Gragson from the race, X (formerly Twitter)

owner Elon Musk said he has the backs of users who may get in trouble at work for activity on his platform.

"If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill," Musk wrote Saturday on X. "No limit. Please let us know."

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