Bubba Wallace, the one African-American driving inside NASCAR Cup Series, used a #BlackLivesMatter livery on his Richard Petty Motorsport Chevrolet for your race at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday.
Wallace, wearing a united states flag mask, clapped his hands when asked for the decision before the start of the race.
“It’s been a stressful number of weeks,” Wallace said within a interview. “This is no doubt the primary race of my career tonight. I’m excited about tonight. There’s numerous emotions in the race track.”
Wallace wore a black “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt – that have been George Floyd’s last words to officers restraining him – but did not kneel while in the national anthem.
His Chevy had “Compassion, Love, Understanding” emblazoned over the hood.
In a video posted on Richard Petty Motorsports’ Twitter account earlier, Wallace had said, “I think it’s going to speak volumes for what I stand for, but also what the initiative that NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push.”
Ahead of the race, NASCAR outlawed the display of this confederate flag at its events. The flag would have been a common and complex sight at NASCAR races. From the civil rights era right on from the season opener at Daytona in February, the flag dotted infield campsites and was waved in grandstands by fans young and old.
Floyd, a black man, died May 25 right after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while Floyd was saying and handcuffed that he or she couldn’t breathe. His death sparked protests that have roiled the world for many days, and Confederate monuments will be taken down across the South – the typical fan base for NASCAR.
Your choice had Confederate flag loyalists howling in protest and vowing to swear over the sport.
Fans have not been allowed back at races yet amid the coronavirus pandemic. It won’t be long: NASCAR plans to welcome only a few fans on a race Sunday near Miami and many more later this month in Alabama.
NASCAR has received a checkered history with race and also it took another blow when driver Kyle Larson was fired in April after he uttered a racial slur after a live-streamed virtual race.