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Hard Fouls

Bubba Wallace: NASCAR’S American Hero

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. is an American professional stock car racing driver. He competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Richard Petty Motorsports.- Wikipedia  The key word in the opening sentence is “American.” Bubba Wallace is one of the most accomplished American drivers in NASCAR history. He was the youngest driver ever to win at Franklin County Speedway. He was rookie of the year in the K&N Pro Series East, as well as in the UARA Stars. One of the best and brightest stars the sport has. Bubba Wallace is a true African American hero. The key word in that last sentence is still “American.”

Jun 14, 2020; Homestead, Florida, USA; Driver Bubba Wallace stands for the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Cup series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Wilfredo Lee/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, a racist police officer dug his knee into George Floyd’s neck/head until he died. 3 other cops sat back and watched the whole thing. All of this was caught on video and shown to the world. The world is outraged. Hundreds of thousands of people have been protesting, and speaking up for equality and the end of police brutality. Athletes have been using their platform to speak out regarding this issue. Including Bubba Wallace.

Image from DW.com

  Bubba Wallace might be one the best drivers in NASCAR, but he is also one of the few African American’s in the sport. On June 8th, he called for NASCAR to mandate the banning of displays of the Confederate Flag. On June 10th, the ban was announced. It seemed that Bubba had successfully used his platform for change. Unfortunately not everyone supports Bubba Wallace in the sport. On June 21st, someone from Bubba’s race team found a noose in his #43 car garage. 

Bubba Wallace wears a “I Can’t Breath – Black Lives Matter” T-shirt under his fire suit in solidarity with protesters around the world during the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 7, 2020 in Hampton, Ga.

As a black man I found this extremely disrespectful. As a human being I felt disgusted and saddened for Bubba. NASCAR immediate took action! AN investigation is taking place by them, and the FBI. They are determined to find the individual who did this and promised to ban the person from the sport for life. Among other things. On June 22nd, NASCAR stood behind Bubba Wallace. Everyone of the drivers at Talladega Speedway joined him by walking his #43 car to the start of the race. ALL TOGETHER AS ONE! Its was one of the most powerful things I’ve seen in sports. It showed that despite some horrible individuals, that NASCAR is unified. They stand and ride with their brother. Bubba Wallace finished 14th in the race, but the day was all about equality. 

Image from latimes.com

“Sorry I’m not wearing my mask, but I just wanted to show whoever it was that you’re not going to take away my smile and I’m gonna keep on going.”-Bubba Wallace

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