Bubba Wallace, the main African-American driving in the NASCAR Cup Series, used a #BlackLivesMatter livery on his Richard Petty Motorsport Chevrolet for just a race at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday.
Wallace, wearing a united states flag mask, clapped his hands when asked concerning the decision before the start of the race.
“It’s been a stressful couple weeks,” Wallace said inside an interview. “This is not any doubt the prevailing race of my career tonight. I’m serious about tonight. There’s a considerable amount of emotions relating to the race track.”
Wallace wore a black “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt – which were George Floyd’s last words to officers restraining him – but failed to kneel within the national anthem.
His Chevy had “Compassion, Love, Understanding” emblazoned at the hood.
In a video posted on Richard Petty Motorsports’ Twitter account earlier, Wallace had said, “I think it’s going to speak volumes for what I stand for, but also what the initiative that NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push.”
In front of the race, NASCAR outlawed the display belonging to the confederate flag at its events. The flag was a common and complicated sight at NASCAR races. Using the civil rights era directly on through the season opener at Daytona in February, the flag dotted infield campsites and was waved in grandstands by fans young and old.
Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after having a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while Floyd was saying and handcuffed which he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked protests who have roiled the country for several days, and Confederate monuments are taken down around the South – the more common fan base for NASCAR.
Your choice had Confederate flag loyalists howling in protest and vowing to swear from the sport.
Fans have not been allowed back at races yet amid the coronavirus pandemic. It won’t be long: NASCAR plans to welcome a small amount of fans in the race Sunday near Miami plus more later this month in Alabama.
NASCAR has had a checkered history with race additionally it took another blow when driver Kyle Larson was fired in April after he uttered a racial slur within a live-streamed virtual race.