NASCAR held a race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday but whatever results came out of the competition won’t be as important as what came before it.
Before the race, many of the organization’s drivers released a joint statement about racial inequality. In it, they promised to not remain silent when it comes to issues of injustice nationwide, while pushing for real change:
Shortly after that, NASCAR president Steve Phelps addressed the event’s competitors in Atlanta with a well-written statement concerning racial injustice in the United States. He also added a moment of reflection at the end “to listen”:
One of the members of Richard Petty’s team held up a Black Lives Matter shirt during the statement:
The fact that NASCAR did this is stunning. Given that it’s largely a white sport, with a primarily white, southern fan base, these actions carry a lot of weight. NASCAR had to know it could be turning off a lot of its fans with a statement like this and could potentially face backlash, but the organziation did it anyway. That’s impressive and should be commended.