The retired Indy 500 and Formula One driver, Derek Daly, was fired from his TV job this week after news of his use of a derogatory racial slur in the 1980s resurfaced.
Dublin-born race car authority Derek Daly has been embroiled in a major controversy this week when it emerged he had used the "N word" during an interview in the 1980s.
According to Fox News, the controversy started when radio play-by-play announcer Bob Lamey recalled an interview in which a well-known racing driver was asked if he thought anyone was holding back during qualifying, to which the he allegedly answered “there aren’t any n***ers in this race."
It soon became apparent that the Indianapolis-based driver in question was Irishman Derek Daly. The Dubliner, who was employed by WISH-TV as a racing analyst, was immediately fired from his role at the network. Daly had spent thirty years working with WISH-TV.
Lamey (80) also stepped down from his radio position amid the scandal and issued a public apology.
Derek Daly joined us in-studio to give his explanation for using the n-word in the story that Bob Lamey retold -which he claims wasn't fully accurate.
Listen: https://t.co/7FiVg50mLb— Derek Schultz (@Schultz975) August 23, 2018
Daly has admitted using the offensive word - but insisted Lamey’s recounting of the incident was incorrect and slanderous. He issued a public explanation which can be read in its entirety here.
Daly told Fox59 that the comment in question was in an interview with radio reporter Larry Henry. He said that when asked what it was like being a rookie foreigner on an American team, he told Henry that if anything went wrong, he would be the only "n****r in the wood pile."
Daly claimed that he was ignorant to the fact that the term was considered hugely offensive, as it was a "commonly used term in Ireland when he was growing up."
“I quickly learned what a derogatory term it was. When I was first informed of this, I was mortified at the offense I might have caused people. I have therefore never used the word since. I made this mistake once, but never again,” Daly said.
The Daily Mail notes that Lilly Diabetes have severed ties with the NASCAR Xfinity driver because of the racial slur made by his father.
The company said in a statement that it was pulling sponsorship of Daly's No.6 car in the upcoming race at Road America in Wisconsin .
"Unfortunately, the comments that surfaced this week by Derek Daly distract from this focus, so we have made the decision that Lilly Diabetes will no longer run the No. 6 at Road America this weekend," they said.