Bubba Wallace Takes A Shot At NASCAR Fans
In one of the most controversial moves in racing history, NASCAR and one of its most visible drivers, Bubba Wallace, are clashing with fans over the sport’s embrace of social justice efforts.
Wallace, who has emerged as one of the faces of NASCAR’s push for greater inclusion and diversity, hosted an event in Chicago this past weekend called Bubba’s Block Party. During the event, the driver had a direct message for any fans who might not be receptive to NASCAR’s efforts.
“There are three types of people: ones that will accept change, the ones that are on the fence about change and the ones that will never change,” Wallace told the press. “You can never get through the minds of the people that will never change. So we don’t really focus our energy on those people. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t like the change that we’re doing as a sport to tap into different demographics and make the sport more welcoming and inclusive. That’s on them. They’ll have to live with that. For us, we continue to march forward.”
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France and other leaders at the sanctioning body have been vocal proponents of the effort to make NASCAR into a more inclusive sport. Recent initiatives include introducing the “race to inclusion” program, opening the Drive for Diversity race development program, and hiring a diversity and inclusion officier. The organization has also vowed to celebrate major diversity milestones such as recognizing Juneteenth and working with its drivers and teams to ensure diversity and opportunities.
“NASCAR is committed to creating an inclusive community both on and off the track,” France said in a statement.
Despite the efforts of NASCAR and Wallace, many fans have been vocal in their opposition. And the most vocal among them are demanding that NASCAR drop its current economic and social justice initiatives or face a full-blown boycott. Nonetheless, Wallace has stood firm in the face of opposition and is unrepentant of the message that he is sending.
“We’re all for it,” Wallace said when asked about the fans who oppose the initiatives. “So if you don’t like it, too bad. We’re about to keep doing our thing.”
No matter the reception to their efforts, NASCAR and Bubba Wallace are pushing forward in their quest to make the sport a more welcoming place for everyone. How successful they are in this endeavor will remain to be seen.