To begin the reinstatement process with NASCAR, famous driver Noah Gragson, who was banned after liking a George Floyd joke on Instagram, has sought to be freed from his team.
After Gragson liked a meme that included a bad taste reference and a play on words of The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea” that ridiculed George Floyd’s death, his team, the Legacy Motor Club, and NASCAR banned him indefinitely.
His team stated that because his recent behavior did not reflect the standards of their organization, they decided to suspend Noah Gragson immediately.
On August 8, 2023, his team announced that he would miss at least the next two races due to the ban and would be replaced by driver Mike Rockenfeller.
Gragson and his crew announced his release from NASCAR on August 10 so that he may seek treatment and return to the sport.
The NASCAR reinstatement procedure will take some time; therefore, Gragson has requested Legacy Motor Club to let him out of his contract immediately, saying he is looking forward to a second chance.
Autoweek reports that to reinstate drivers, NASCAR considers each driver’s specific infractions. Driver Kyle Larson was banned from racing in 2020 after being accused of racist comments. To get back in the game, he consulted a diversity coach, spoke to notable black athletes, and listened to the perspectives of people from different black communities around the nation.
A similar procedure occurred in 2015 with legendary racecar driver Kyle Busch and allegations of domestic assault. Busch was invited back into the racing community after being acquitted of criminal charges, albeit it is unknown what measures he took to get this reinstatement.
A.J. Allmendinger, one of NASCAR’s drivers, was subject to a drug testing procedure. He was first kicked from the team after failing a random drug test.
The Legacy Motor Club’s Cal Wells III (CEO) stated that they are proud that Noah has taken ownership of his actions, also saying they were confident he will “come back stronger.”