ATLANTA, GA (WKRN) – As currently the only major U.S. sport in action currently, NASCAR fully understood its unique platform.
Ahead of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR President Steve Phelps addressed competitors and followed it up with a moment of silence.
“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 to hear our 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 recognize that we must do better.”
After a brief moment of silence, FOX’s broadcast played a pre-produced video consisting of the sports biggest names like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch speaking a unified message.
A collection of drivers taking turns speaking put together the singular statement that read in part: “the process begins with is 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.”
The video message finished with: “It is now our responsibility to no longer be silent. We have a long road ahead of us but lets commit to taking that 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.”
Also during the pre-race ceremony, Wallace was seen wearing a shirt that read, “I can’t breathe,” and “Black lives matter.”