Earlier in the three-hour Twitch stream, Lawson asked Vips to wear a pink Red Bull cap and Vips said “No, that’s gay.”
“Juri, you can’t say that,” Lawson replied.
Pro athletes are joining the Twitch streaming surge
Red Bull Racing plans to conduct a “full investigation into the incident,” according to a statement shared by the team Tuesday.
“As an organization we condemn abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behaviors within our organization,” the statement read.
In a separate statement on Instagram, Vips wrote an apology “for the offensive language” during the live stream, and said that he would cooperate with Red Bull’s investigation.
“This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold,” Vips wrote. “I deeply regret my actions.”
The esports vision of Lando Norris and McLaren Racing
This isn’t the first time athletes in traditional sports have gotten in trouble for using racist slurs while streaming on Twitch. Last March, the esports organization FaZe Clan cut ties with Meyers Leonard after the NBA player used an antisemitic slur during a Twitch stream. The Miami Heat, his team at the time, suspended and fined Leonard $50,000.
Athletes are increasingly spending their free time on Twitch, streaming to thousands of fans as they play games. Among NBA players, De’Aaron Fox of the Scramento Kings and Josh Hart of the New Orleans Pelicans both have their own Twitch channels. Plenty of professional racecar drivers stream on Twitch, as well. Lando Norris, a Formula One driver for McLaren Racing, has more than 1.3 million followers on Twitch.