A sponsor announced on Friday that it has ended its partnership with NASCAR driver Conor Daly after it was reported that his father used racially insensitive language during an interview in the early 1980s.
Lilly Diabetes pulled its sponsorship from Conor’s No. 6 car in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity race, citing his father’s alleged use of the N-word 35 years ago, reported Fox News.
Derek Daly, a retired Indy 500 and Formula One driver, was fired days earlier from his role as WISH-TV’s Racing Analyst due to the controversy.
In a statement, the elder Daly admitted to using the word but denied its connotation.
“I was a foreign driver now in America, driving for an American team, with an American crew, and with an American sponsor – and that if things did not go well, the only ‘”n” in the woodpile’ would be me,” Derek Daly wrote, saying that the expression was common in his native Ireland and didn’t carry the same racist connotation.
He added that he was “mortified” after he was informed of the derogatory nature of the word and has not used the word since.