Lilly Diabetes Pulls T1D Racecar Driver’s Sponsorship-What Grinds My Gears

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Conor Daly and Cut The B.S. Girl, Arlene at ISM Raceway April 2018

Lately, I’ve been listening to a Podcast by two Indycar Drivers, James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi called “Off Track with Hinch and Rossi.” On that podcast, they occasionally have a segment called, “What Grinds My Gears,” where they talk about pet peeves or what sets them off.  I woke up today reading a story and as I read it, I found that it really…grinded…my gears.  Anyhow, here’s the story:

Lilly Diabetes, has pulled sponsorship of Conor Daly, a racecar driver, living, driving, and thriving with T1D, because of a potential racial slur his dad, Derek Daly, made before Conor was even born.  If that isn’t the largest load of crap ever.

“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.”

What grinds my gears here is the fact that Conor, who is working to be quite the advocate of self care with diabetes (Type 1 or 2), has lost sponsorship dollars as a result of something he had no control over.  It would have been one thing if he lost his sponsorship because the kid decided not to work out and decided to eat junk food in preparation of this NASCAR Xfinity Road America race, but that is just not the case.  It’s even documented in this video.

They call themselves company that is focused on raising awareness for treatment options and resources for people living with diabetes.  To me, it seems that this action of pulling Conor’s sponsorship is a bigger distraction to both the racing and diabetes communities.  The kid has done nothing wrong to lose said sponsorship.

If we all lost something that could affect our livelihoods as a result of something our parents said or did, well, we just would not progress as a society.  It’s bullshit.

In addition, its pretty ironic that Lilly Diabetes would be so unforgiving considering the product they sell to us people with diabetes and parents of children with diabetes, insulin, is a product that aids us in forgiving the number we see on the meter, correcting immediately with said insulin, and then getting back on track with our lives.  We as people with diabetes can’t even boycott, because our insurance dictates which insulin to use, regardless of what we discuss is best with our doctors.

I was so excited to watch Conor too as I haven’t even looked at NASCAR in years, despite Ryan Reed also being a driver with Diabetes.  I’m still gonna watch Conor this weekend but just with a tinge of irritation for Lilly.

I’ve been following Indycar and it’s drivers, since my then boyfriend, now husband, took me to a qualifying day at the Long Beach Gran Prix in 2003, and subsequently, we got engaged after that race.  I was a fan of Charlie Kimball, another Indycar driver with T1D, when he was in Indy Lights even before I was diagnosed with Diabetes myself in 2012.

Good luck this weekend, Conor!  Good vibes, back on track, keep driving, and get on that podium!

One thought on “Lilly Diabetes Pulls T1D Racecar Driver’s Sponsorship-What Grinds My Gears

  1. I cannot condone what Derick Daly allegedly said. But even if one is seriously angry about it, we have to recognize that these comments happened before Conor was even born. Conor is a great guy and he deserves better,much better.

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