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NY Post
New York Post
5 Aug 2023


NextImg:NASCAR’s Noah Gragson suspended after reportedly liking George Floyd meme

NASCAR driver Noah Gragson has been suspended by Legacy Motor Club and NASCAR after he appeared to like a meme that made light of George Floyd’s death on social media.

Screenshots, according to multiple reports, showed Gragson, 25, appearing like the meme that mocked Floyd’s May 2020 death after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck down for 9 1/2 minutes as he gasped for breath.

The death sparked protests around the country, and Chauvin was later convicted of murder in April 2021.

“I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media,” Gragson posted Saturday. “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.”

Noah Gragson has been suspended by Legacy Motor Club after liking a meme making light of George Floyd’s death.
AP

Gragson will subsequently not race in Sunday’s Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

Legacy co-owners Maury Gallagher and seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson have replaced Gragson with Josh Berry as the driver for its No. 42 car.

It’s not clear how long the suspension will last.

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

Noah Gragson, driver of the #42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400 at Richmond Raceway on July 30, 2023.
Noah Gragson, driver of the #42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400 at Richmond Raceway on July 30, 2023.
Getty Images

NASCAR backed the team’s decision, saying Gragson violated its “member conduct.”

“NASCAR fully supports Legacy Motor Club’s decision to suspend Noah Gragson,” NASCAR said in a statement. “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, 25, is in his first full season in the Cup series — NASCAR’s top division — and ranks No. 33 in points.

On Tuesday, The Athletic reported that the Legacy team was already pondering whether to replace Gragson after the season, possibly with John Hunter Nemechek.

He’s finished in the top 10 in a race just once.