Conor Daly is making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut this weekend at Road America. IndyCar’s most American driver is turning to left and right with the stock car boys this week and his run at the Indy 500 was supposed to tie in with this weekend.
After months of build-up by Lilly Diabetes including a video series in conjunction with NASCAR, the company withdrew their sponsorship of Daly’s #6 car Friday morning. Why?
That’s right, 26-year old Conor Daly lost his sponsorship because of something his father said 35 years ago. In 1983 Derek Daly said the n-word in a common phrase from Ireland which went unnoticed until this week. Long-time Colts play by play announcer Bob Lamey was fired this week for uttering the slur Daly told him at Indianapolis Motor Speedway some 35 years ago.
Daly denies ever saying the slur to Lamey in that context. He did, however, admit to saying the slur in a different context. Because of that Wish-TV fired him from his freelance position.
Let’s be clear here, using the n-word is something you shouldn’t do. Being from a different country is a minor excuse if you’re not used to the customs in America. However, it’s still not a word that should be said. Goes for all of those people in the infield at NASCAR races.
To pull the sponsorship for something that was said before the driver you’re sponsoring was even born is a tad ridiculous. Lilly Diabetes put out this statement:
— Dave Griffiths (@DaveG_Sports) August 24, 2018
“Distract from this focus” as if pulling the sponsorship for such a ludicrous reason didn’t create more of a distraction. Instead of everyone looking at Daly wheel a Lilly Diabetes car this weekend he is instead behind the wheel of a black and green Roush Fenway Racing branded Ford Mustang.
Lilly wanted to distance themselves from what Derek said as if anyone in Elkhart Lake gave a care. Maybe one or two media people would have asked about it but most people have a sensible brain. A brain that goes, he said that 35 years ago and it relates to his kid in zero ways.
So instead of Lilly thinking they saved face here they have seen been dragged through the internet streets taking an absolute beating. From fans to drivers the brand has taken more of a hit than if they stayed on Daly’s car and coached him how to handle the question.
“Conor, do you have a comment on what your dad said 35 years ago?” – Chris Knight (probably)
“You know, that was before I was born. I don’t condone what he said, I know he feels awful and knows it was wrong. We’re just trying to move forward as a family and have a good run this weekend at Road America.” – Conor.
Do you see how simple it would have been to let him answer the question with Lilly on the car?
Lilly has instead moved their sponsorship over to Daly’s teammate Ty Majeski in the #60 car.
If you’re looking for someone to pull for tomorrow at Road America, Conor Daly would be a good choice.
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