Wallace is in huge support of the NASCAR official who kneeled during the National Anthem; Looking for more change at race events
NASCAR is doing their part of fight racial injustice. The sport returned on Sunday afternoon, but it wasn’t tone deaf amid nationwide protests.
Bubba Wallace was seen wearing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirt on pit road ahead of the race. A NASCAR official also kneeled during the race.
NASCAR parked cars on the frontstretch just ahead of the green flag. The president of NASCAR then delivered a speech to the community and racing fans across the globe.
Bubba Wallace went on to finish 21st. After the hot day in Atlanta, Wallace passed out, twice.
Related: Bubba Wallace: Scary moment as NASCAR driver appears to pass out on tv, twice (Video)
NASCAR only African-America drivers was unable to comment on the scenes after the race. He’s feeling better now and ready to reflect on the emotional events of the race weekend.
“NASCAR has stepped up to the plate, big time,” Bubba Wallace told Don Lemon via CNN.
“They have reached out, the highups at NASCAR, every single one of them reached out. They have my most respect. And they give me their support in the direction that we’re heading.”
“I am proud of NASCAR for stepping up to the plate and delivering in a huge way. The moment of silence that we had before we fired off in Atlanta.”
Kneeling during the National Anthem at the NASCAR race
A NASCAR official, Kirk Price, who happens to be African American and a former American solider, kneeled during the National Anthem on Sunday. It’s what appears to be the first time we’ve seen someone on the competitor side of the fence, kneel during a race weekend.
“I sat there on the start finish line with tears in my eyes, seeing every crew member stand on the wall. And we had our (NASCAR) official, kneel, during the Anthem,” Bubba Wallce stated.
“If I would have seen it, I would have went there and kneeled next to him. Because it’s such a powerful move. An incredible man, that has served our country, kneeling down.”
“People think it’s disrespecting the flag and going against our military. We’re so uneducated on what the kneeling meant.”
Richard Petty (2017)
Bubba Wallace currently drives for Richard Petty. Back in 2017, Petty had a very conflicting comment on kneeling during the NASCAR Anthem.
“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States,” Richard Petty stated in comments reported by the AP in 2017.
Related: Richard Childress and Richard Petty on National Anthem
Confederate Flags at NASCAR races
For years, NASCAR has tried to separate themselves from the Confederate Flag.
Back in 2015, the sports asks fans not to bring any Confederate flags. With that, NASCAR introduced a flag-swap program. They allowed fans to swap out a Confederate Flag for the Stars and Stripes, at the track.
“We are trying to find next-steps. And my next flag would be to get rid of all Confederate flags,” Bubba Wallace stated
“There should be no individual that is uncomfortable showing up to our events, to have a good time. That feels some type of way about something they have seen, an object they have seen flying.”
“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So, it starts with confederate flags, get them out of here.”
“The narrative on that, I’m not bothered by it. But, I don’t speak for everybody else. I chase checkered flags. But, diving more into it and educating myself, people feel uncomfortable with that.”
“People talk about that, that’s the first thing they bring up. There’s a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly. But, it’s time for change.”
Steve Phelps: Speech ahead of NASCAR race
Ahead of the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the cars were brought to a stop on the front stretch. The President of NASCAR then tuned in with a message over all the crew audio channels.
“Thank you for your time,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said during a speech to the drivers on Sunday.
“Our country is in pain and people are justifiably angry, demanding to be heard. The black community and all people of color have suffered in our country, and it has taken far too long for us to hear their demands for change. Our sport must do better. Our country must do better.”
“The time is now to listen, to understand and to stand against racism and racial injustice. We ask our drivers … and all our fans to join us in this mission, to take a moment of reflection, to acknowledge that we must do better as a sport, and join us as we now pause and take a moment to listen.”