NASCAR Goes All In on Social Justice and Diversity Equity Inclusion: “What We Do is Going to Be Authentic to Who We Are”
NASCAR is going full steam ahead in their commitment to social justice and “diversity equity inclusion,” president Steve Phelps has said.
Citing a study of 1,750 self-described “avid NASCAR fans,” Phelps says fans “overwhelmingly” supported the governing body’s new social justice stance.
“It was a moment in time back in June that seemed, for us, it was the right time to act. I think it was the right time for our country. I think it was the right time for our sport. The response to that was fantastic. What we do in the areas of social justice and diversity equity inclusion is going to be authentic to who we are. May not be the right thing for the NBA, but it’s going to be the right thing for us,” he remarked.
The height of last summer’s woke hysteria, the month of June, saw a spotlight placed on NASCAR after black driver Bubba Wallace claimed there was a noose hanging from his garage. The FBI investigated and later found that it was a garage door pull that had been there as early as fall 2019—well before Wallace’s team was assigned that garage.
Wallace also called for the abolition of the Confederate flag, which NASCAR promptly implemented at all tracks the day after.
“The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry,” NASCAR had said in a statement.
The Associated Press points out that some of Wallace’s new sponsors for the 2021 season—DoorDash, Columbia Sportswear, and Root Insurance—partnered with him “because of his activism first, racing second.”
“Along with McDonald’s and Dr. Pepper, Wallace has a fully funded car for the first time in his career,” the article said.
NASCAR’s roots lie in Southern tradition, but it seems that the governing body’s leadership feels comfortable alienating the fans who served as their backbone for so long.
“A new era of social consciousness has enveloped the sport and NASCAR is committed for the long haul,” the AP remarks. Sad but true. If NASCAR is no longer safe from social justice convergence, nothing is. The country is changing for the worse, and so are our sports.