Red Bull’s test and reserve driver Juri Vips has been suspended after using the N-word during a video game stream. The 21-year-old Estonian used the slur while playing Call of Duty: Warzone with fellow Red Bull junior Liam Lawson.
“Red Bull has suspended junior driver Juri Vips from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident,” Red Bull said in a statement on Twitter. “As an organisation we condemn abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behaviour within our organisation.”
During the same stream, Vips also used homophobic language. The Formula 2 driver apologized for the incident on his Instagram page, via Reddit.
“I wish to unreservedly apologize for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today,” Vips said. “This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold. I deeply regret my actions and this is not the example I wish to set. I will cooperate with the investigation fully.”
This incident comes at a time when F1 has been attempting to improve diversity and inclusion, with driver Lewis Hamilton at the forefront of these efforts. Hamilton has set up his own commission to look into the causes behind the lack of minorities in motorsports.
Of course, this isn’t the first time someone has landed in hot water due to their actions on Twitch. Just recently, Twitch took action against users who were sending “hate raids” against women and minorities. In 2018, Twitch’s poster boy, Ninja, apologized after footage surfaced of him using racial slurs during gameplay.
Written by Kirk McKeand on behalf of GLHF.