As it becomes more apparent that Smithfield Foods will dump Richard Petty Motorsports rather than sponsor Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. in the No 43, people are already taking to social media accusing Smithfield of the ‘R’ word.
Please, stop it.
To be clear: There is no doubt racism exists. None. But one of the ways that can hurt the cause of combating it — which all decent people want to do — is be flaunting the ‘R’ word.
Here are some facts:
RPM is in turmoil
It has no shop for next year, It’s already damaged the No. 43 by letting it leak that it would dump the current driver, Aric Almirola, for Wallace. Only thing is, now that people know Smithfield is likely to take a hike, other teams are coming after the sought-after 23-year-old because of comments like this:
The racism talk seems odd
Almirola is a Cuban-American. It appears that Smithfield wants to stay with him because they have a relationship that goes back to 2012. Not only that, Smithfield is surely smart enough to know that if it wants to sponsor a driver it prefers there are plenty of teams that would accommodate them. So, to say that Smithfield wants to sponsor one minority over another seems a little silly.
NASCAR fans seem to love them some Bubba Wallace
Just check social media accounts, which I know can be dicey. But NASCAR fans want to see Wallace in the Cup series and rave about his dynamic personality. Now, if he ends up driving poorly, fans will let him hear it — as they should. But for now, they’re looking forward to seeing him on the track.
If it seemed like racism was a part of that, a lot of people would scream — loud.
That doesn’t seem to be the case here.