NASCAR debuted a public service announcement Friday that features some of its drivers, including six-time champion Jimmie Johnson, and promotes diversity, inclusion and equality within and outside of sports.
The video comes about two months after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2 into law. The law, driven by the issue of which bathroom transgender people can use, repealed local LGBT anti-discrimination laws. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this month that the league is looking at “alternatives” for the 2017 All-Star Game, which is scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, should the law not be changed.
NASCAR Chairman Brian France stated April 21 in a meeting with The Associated Press Sports Editors that “any discrimination, unintended or not … we don’t like that.”
Other drivers joining Johnson in the video are Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. NASCAR partnered with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) with the campaign. France is a founding member of the RISE Board of Directors. The initiative was founded by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
“Discrimination has no place in our society, which is why we have partnered with RISE and Stephen Ross to help put an end to intolerance in sports,” France said in a statement. “With the help of our talented drivers who support this important message, we want to reinforce our sport’s unwavering commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion.”
Last year, NASCAR was among various sports organizations that expressed its objections to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in March 2015. Gov. Pence signed an amended law last year.