Back in May, the murder of George Floyd galvanized countless members of the NASCAR community to speak out against racial injustice. Just three months later, several NASCAR drivers are once again using their platform to spread a message of unity, following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer in Wisconsin.
In the wake of Blake’s shooting, there have been a number of postponements in the sports world, from NBA and NHL playoff games to WNBA, MLB, and MLS games to NFL practices. And, while NASCAR plans to go ahead with the upcoming race weekend at Daytona International Speedway, Richard Petty Motorsports driver Bubba Wallace wanted to make it clear that this “does not mean we are stepping down and turning away from the dark and evil acts that have taken over our nation.”
Wallace — whose outspokenness on racial issues ultimately led to NASCAR banning the Confederate flag from all events — made his point in a series of tweets sent Thursday night.
In an interview with NASCAR on FOX, seven-time Cup Series champ Jimmie Johnson spoke out about the importance for all athletes to be able to voice their opinions on important issues, whether it be on police brutality, racial equality, or anything else.
“These are changing times,” Johnson said. “I know many don’t want to see the opinions of the athletes and they want the sport to be the sport and the athletes just to be quiet. I think there’s been so much going on over a long, long period of time and various topics as well. We have an opinion. Athletes have an opinion. We have a right to share our opinion.”
Tyler Reddick, the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, reiterated Johnson’s sentiments in a Friday interview, while Denny Hamlin supported NASCAR’s decision to continue with racing as usual.
In a live video on the official Alt_driver Facebook page, Social Media Manager Daryk Ganske dished on how NASCAR’s dealing with the ongoing sports boycotts and fielded some of your top comments. What did you think about the discussion? Let us know!