Racer Loses Sponsor

PUBLISHED: 10:35 PM 27 Aug 2018

Indy Racer Issues Response After Sponsor Cuts Ties Over Father’s Remarks

They reportedly ended their sponsorship with him shortly after it was revealed that his father had said an “offensive” word more than 30 years ago.

Lilly Diabetes, which is a company that specializes in providing  treatment options and resources for people with diabetes, recently cut their ties with Conor Daly, a well-known Indy car driver, over an offensive comment that his father Derek Daly had made over 30 years ago (pictured above).

Just recently, an Indy car driver was, quite bafflingly, punished for a 30-year-old “offensive” word that his father, who is a retired race car driver himself, had admitted to saying during an interview.   

Incredibly, however, instead of bashing the company for what many would say was an utterly idiotic decision based on completely misguided outrage, he ended up delivering a response that left countless people surprised by its classiness.

How such hysteria is even allowed to rule society in the first place, though, seems to be something that is incomprehensible to most.

Specifically, Lilly Diabetes, which is a company that specializes in providing  treatment options and resources for people with diabetes, recently cut their ties with Conor Daly, who drove the #6 car in his NASCAR debut that was held by the racing organization several days ago, over an offensive comment that his father had made on a live radio show back in the 1980s.

In a statement about their decision, the company stated, “our sponsorship in Saturday’s race is intended to raise awareness of treatment options and resources for people living with diabetes. 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. We remain committed to our mission of supporting people with diabetes.”

The particular comment in question, which was that he felt like an “n***** in the woodpile,” was reportedly stated by Derek Daly, who is Daly’s father, during a radio show shortly after he had moved from Ireland to the United States to drive as a racer.

According to his father, who was also recently fired as a racing analyst for TV, the phrase was supposedly a widely used idiom in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Australia at the time that did not reportedly have the same connotation that it did in the US. Instead, it purportedly meant that he felt like that if anything were to go wrong with the racing, he would be the one to blame because he was the weakest link.

Following the radio show, though, Daly’s father was then supposedly pulled aside by someone who then explained to him that saying such a word is not tolerated. Upon learning that, which purportedly left him shocked and horrified, he has allegedly never used the word since.

Despite this, Lilly Diabetes still decided to pull their sponsorship from Daly.

Rather than attacking the company, however, the racecar driver went on Twitter and tweeted, “the last 24hrs have been quite an unnecessarily difficult ride for my family. There is A LOT I want to say… but I’m still here and still racing. I appreciate the support from @roushfenway and ALL of you. [Lilly Diabetes] has been a big part of my career and Im [sic] very thankful. #6.”

By saying this, Daly showed that he was still grateful for the opportunity even though it didn’t work out in the long run. He also made it clear that he wasn’t interested in burning his bridge with that company just in case things change in the future.

For many, such a response was extremely classy.

One user on the social media platform, for example, wrote, “Conor keeps trying to build the bridge with the company that torched it. That’s all you need to know about the type of person [Conor Daly] is. #AllClass #IndyCar #Nascar Shame on you [Lilly Diabetes].”

Another user wrote, “[Conor Daly] is proving he’s all class. Another reason why the decision by [Lilly Diabetes] is idiotic, shameful, and a PR mistake. Hope Conor parks it in victory circle without their logo on the car this weekend.”

A third user, who was left understandably furious by the sponsor’s decision to cut ties with Daly, called on the company to do an internal audit to ensure that the parent’s of each of their employees have also never said anything offensive in the past.

Specifically, they tweeted, “well played [Lilly Diabetes],  please do a full audit of your executive team and their parent to make sure that over the past 40 years on one said anything that could be considered in bad taste. If something is found I would expect an immediate firing with no questions asked.”

Sadly, misguided outrage and hysteria are fairly common. For example, several weeks ago, many would agree that there was a massive amount of misguided outrage over a new video advertisement that was released by Jack in the Box.

In the advertisement, the fast food company apparently tried to cleverly reference the guts, or “bowls,” that they have for carrying certain items on their menu. Doing so, however, upset numerous people who ignored the humor and, quite absurdly, viewed the ad as celebrating sexual innuendos in the workplace instead.

And a few weeks before that, the Montgomery Biscuits baseball team sparked a massive amount of misguided hysteria following their announcement that they would be hosting a “Millennial-friendly” night-time event where they could come and receive participation ribbons and take advantage of certain areas designed for napping and taking selfies.

In response to the outrage, though, the baseball team actually doubled down on what many would agree is a hilarious idea. Additionally, they also made sure to make a mockery of all the misguided anger.

The owners of an antique shop in Missouri also recently had a similar experience for displaying a pro-police American flag. As a result of the subsequent harassment, they decided to take the flag down for the time being.

Without a doubt, many would agree that outrage is currently being used by some as a weapon. Hopefully, though, more and more people will come to recognize this and start ignoring their ridiculous demands. Unfortunately, though, this is not what Lilly Diabetes did.