NASCAR Drivers’ Emotional Show of Support For Bubba Wallace
The debate over racism in America is playing out in an unlikely place: the infield at NASCAR's Talladega Superspeedway. It was there that a noose was found in the garage of Bubba Wallace, the sport's only black driver. The discovery was made yesterday and was followed by a swift response from NASCAR and its fans.
Today, surrounded by all of the other drivers along with NASCAR legend Richard Petty, Wallace climbed into his car and was pushed onto the track by his competitors. The drivers marched along the side of the car along with the message #IStandWithBubba.
It's a move unlike any NASCAR fan has ever seen.
NASCAR has made news in recent weeks by banning the display of the Confederate flag at its events. To many black Americans, the flag has long been a symbol of a racist period in our nation's history. On Sunday, several cars lined up near the track entrance protesting the ban. Overhead, a plane flew over the track with a Confederate flag and the words "defund NASCAR."
Those protesters did not get any of the spotlight today as the focus was on the solidarity on display by the drivers. In the photo below, you can see all of the drivers standing with their hands on their hearts for the performance of the national anthem.
In the car as drivers prepared for the green flag, a spotter could be heard over the headsets telling Wallace to get the job done and to 'show these haters up'.
You know I love you man. We all do. Take care of yourself out there and put us in a good spot. Take your self a deep breath. Get your mind right. Let's go show these haters up.
Only 5,000 fans were in attendance at the race in accordance with social distancing guidelines.