NASCAR star Bubba Wallace will run a special “Black Lives Matter” paint scheme on his No. 43 car on Wednesday night to promote racial equality after George Floyd’s death in police custody prompted nationwide protests.
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Wallace, 26, is the only active black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series. He has emerged as one of the sport’s most outspoken voices for change in the days since Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody.
“Running this race car. Being on live television. 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,” Wallace said in a video posted on Richard Petty Motorsports’ Twitter page.
NASCAR and other U.S. sports leagues have pledged to join the right against systemic racism in recent days. In a moment of reflection prior to last Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR President Steve Phelps declared “our sport must do better” to address and combat injustice.
Wallace’s No. 43 car will feature the slogans “BlackLivesMatter” and “Compassion, love and understanding.”
“I think the two fists — the black fist and the white fist — going hand in hand speaks volumes, says a lot. Has a lot of power behind it,” Wallace added.
Wallace has called for NASCAR to ban the flying of Confederate flags at its race tracks. Circuit officials are mulling a change in the policy, Sports Business Journal reported.
The Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia will air at 7 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
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