NASCAR Cup drivers released a video before Sunday’s race, providing a unified message against racial inequality and racism.
Bubba Wallace was the first to speak on the video saying: “We’re not strangers to moving fast.”
He was followed by Kyle Busch and several other Cup drivers who went on to say:
“And we know how life can have that same quality. But now … is the time to slow down and reflect. The events of recent weeks highlighted the work we still need to do as a nation to condemn racial inequality and racism. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others in the black community are heartbreaking … and can no longer be ignored.
“The process begins with us listening and learning because understanding the problem is the first step in fixing it. We are committed to listening with empathy and with an open heart to better educate ourselves. We will use this education to advocate for change in our nation, our communities and most importantly in our own homes. Even after the headlines go away.
“All of our voices, they make a difference. No matter how big or how small, it is all of our responsibility to no longer be silent. To no longer be silent. We just can’t stay silent. We’ve a long road ahead of us. But let’s commit to make the journey together.
“Our differences should not divide us. It is our love for all mankind that will unite us as we work together to make real change.”
The video ended with Jimmie Johnson emphasizing “as we work together to make real change.”
Before the race began, the cars were stopped on the frontstretch. Pit crews stood on the wall behind the pit boxes.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps’s then addressed competitors and fans.
“Those watching at home, thank you for your time. 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, our competitors and all our fans to join us in this mission, to take a moment of reflection to acknowledge we must do better as a sport and join us as we may now pause and … listen.”
As the cars rolled off, the video of the drivers condemning racism was aired.
Fox’s cameras showed Wallace wearing a Black T-shirt over his racing uniform before the race that stated: “I can’t breathe” and “Black Lives Matter.”
I will listen and learn pic.twitter.com/XWgautn4cy
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) June 7, 2020