NASCAR is the latest major sport to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
CNN reports that before the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor 500 Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday (6/7), NASCAR president Steve Phelps asked for a moment of silence. He paid tribute to the life of George Floyd who was killed by police in Minneapolis.
Bubba Wallace, the sport’s only African-American driver, wore a black T-shirt that said “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe” during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500.
Wallace also tweeted a NASCAR-sponsored video of him and fellow drivers discussing how they will advocate for change to fight racism and inspire change.
He wrote, “We will listen and learn! #BlackLivesMattters Time For change.”
Wallace also retweeted, “Bubba Wallace, on CNN, said #NASCAR should ban the Confederate flag from race tracks.”
He then retweeted this from Marty Smith at ESPN, “@BubbaWallace told me this morning that @NASCAR’s driving corps is having productive, progressive conversations behind closed doors regarding social justice and racial equality.”
Bubba told Don Lemon on CNN, “I am proud of #NASCAR for stepping up to the plate and delivering in a huge way […] I sat there at the start-finish line with tears in my eyes.”
Wallace’s statements and tweets come as protests gather across the US and around the globe to call for police reform. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes.
Most of the fan reaction on Twitter has been positive.
The sport’s fanbase is 94% white. Former NFL player Bernard Pollard Jr. tweeted, “Honestly didn’t know @NASCAR had a brotha. I’m watching @BubbaWallace for the rest of the year. I need to learn about this sport.”