NASCAR driver Noah Gragson has been suspended indefinitely by his team for liking a meme mocking George Floyd.
Gragson later said after the blowback from the incident, "I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media."
The meme of Floyd is his face on the crab from Little Mermaid, with a caption saying, "Under da knee," connecting to the song, "Under the Sea."
NASCAR said that Gragson violated the member code of conduct of the league. "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."
Last year, Gragson won the Xfinity series "Most Popular Driver" award.
The Legacy Motor Club, the team Gragson has been on, said in a statement, "We have made the decision to suspend Noah Gragson effective immediately regarding his actions that do not represent the values of our team."
The 25-year-old driver is from Las Vegas and is in his first full season of the Cup series. In a response to the Legacy Motor Club statement on Twitter, Gragson said, "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," Gragson said.
Gragson was previously set to take part in a race at the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. He wil now be replaced by Josh Berry, who will drive the No. 42 Chevrolet.
He was doing realatively well up until his suspension; Gragson ranked no. 33 in points during his first full season in NASCAR's top division.
It is not known how long this ban from NASCAR may last for Gragson.
There is a possibility that the suspension is permanent given that Gragson's team is currently weighing if they want to replace him during the next season, according to The Athletic.
NASCAR has taken other actions in the wake of Floyd's death, including its decision to ban the Confederate flag from its events and venues following complaints about its use by Bubba Wallace. Wallace infamously made false claims in 2020 that a someone had intentionally hung a 'noose' type of rope in his garage in an effort to make some kind of racist attack. It was determined that the rope would have been sitting inside of the garage since at least Oct. 2019, and that "nobody could have known" that the room was going to be assigned to Wallace.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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