Noah Gragson reinstated by NASCAR after sensitivity training

Noah Gragson reinstated by NASCAR after sensitivity training

NASCAR announced that driver Noah Gragson has been reinstated following his sensitivity training after he was suspended over the controversial George Floyd meme.

NASCAR has reinstated Noah Gragson after the sanctioning body lifted his indefinite suspension on Tuesday after successfully completing his diversity and inclusion re-education, making him eligible to race in the Cup Series once more.

Gragson was placed on indefinite leave in August after it was discovered that he had liked an Instagram Reel mocking George Floyd’s murder in 2020.

Five days later, Gragson unexpectedly ended his Cup Series rookie season by leaving Legacy Motor Club after issuing an apology for the incident.

Gragson was running third in points at the time of his suspension. Eventually, Legacy assigned the #42 to Josh Berry, Mike Rockenfeller, and Carson Hocevar.

Three days after the suspension on August 5, 2023, his team announced that he will miss at least the next two races. By August 10, Gragson and his team had made public their request for Gragson to be released in order to successfully complete a diversity training program.

“Noah Gragson has completed diversity and inclusion training with our partners at RISE,” a NASCAR spokesperson said, adding that the group recommended his reinstatement, restoring his member privileges.

RISE describes itself as “a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.”

Gragson thanked NASCAR on social media for giving him a second chance.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to NASCAR for reinstating me,” read a statement from Gragson.

“Over the past several weeks, I have dedicated myself to personal growth and reflection, and I believe I have become a better person because of it.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and the NASCAR industry. I am now more focused and committed than ever to representing my future team in the best way possible.

“I’m eager to get back behind the wheel and compete at the highest level, giving it my all on and off the track.

“Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey, and I can’t wait to make the most of this second chance.”

Autoweek claims that NASCAR specifically tailors its reinstatement procedures to the violation committed by each individual.

Driver Kyle Larson received a suspension in 2020 for allegedly making racist remarks. During the course of his reinstatement, a diversity coach was hired, and he also had interactions with well-known black athletes and people from different black communities across the nation to discuss their experiences.

Gragson has not disclosed his future plans after participating in the ASA STARS National Tour race at Toledo on Saturday.

A return to LMC is not likely considering the team has engaged John Hunter Nemechek to drive the #42, except for the unlikely possibilities that involve adding another car or firing Erik Jones.

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