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TRE ‘ColuJM’ – Get over it

NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500
MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – JUNE 10: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet, wears a “I Can’t Breathe – Black Lives Matter” t-shirt under his firesuit in solidarity with protesters around the world taking to the streets after the death of George Floyd on May 25, and a NASCAR Official shake hands prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on June 10, 2020 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

In the past week or so, NASCAR has updated their stance on many policies, aiming towards a more inclusive arena for their fans, competitors, and partners.

At Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR shut the cars off on the frontstretch during the pace laps and held a moment of silence and listening to show their support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

NASCAR went even further, just before the the Atlanta event, they updated their policy to no longer require their constituents to stand and salute the Flag of the United States of America during pre-race ceremonies. This paves the way for peaceful protesting to take place without fear of negative repercussions.

They came out in support of the LGBTQ community, joining with the ‘You Can Play’ team, ensuring “safety and inclusion of LGBTQ athletes, coaches, and fans”.

For Wednesday’s night race at Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR approved Bubba Wallace to drive a #BlackLivesMatter car, and hours before the race, confirmed that they were finally banning the display of the Confederate Battle Flag on their properties and at their events.

These measures and steps taken by NASCAR have been long overdue. I’ve been a fan of NASCAR for over 25 years, and I’ve always felt apologetic about it to those who have felt excluded due to the racist, homophobic, and close-mindedness of some of the fans who attended these events, unapologetic about their views.

It’s a new world, people, and times are changing. They’ve been changing, and the leaders of NASCAR are finally stepping up to the plate to condone these injustices.

Are you mad?

GET OVER IT.

It’s a damn shame to log on to social media and read all this hatred, all these narrow-minded views.

So many people are stating they are “done with NASCAR”.

You know what? GOOD. Go away, or get over it.

If you’re not going to open up your mind and realize that the flag you hold so dear to your heart truly means terrible things to others, take your flag and go home.

Even though all the people coming out of the woodworks are saying it, this truly has nothing to do with politics.

It has everything to do with basic human rights.

Imagine being upset about that!

NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500
MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – JUNE 10: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet, wears a “I Can’t Breath – Black Lives Matter” t-shirt under his firesuit in solidarity with protesters around the world taking to the streets after the death of George Floyd on May 25, stands next to his car painted with “Compassion, Love, Understanding” prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on June 10, 2020 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

***

Despite the outcry from the many blind, “former” NASCAR fans, the fallout from the recent turn of events in NASCAR has been met with a lot of positivity from the outside. There are people talking about NASCAR that I’ve never seen utter a single word towards any type of motorsport before.

It was enough for the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. to tweet out in support of the NASCAR family on Wednesday.

Many stars from other professional sports, like LeBron James and Richard Sherman, among others, shared the car that Wallace drove to an 11th place finish on Wednesday night, the hood of the car with the message of “Compassion, Love, Understanding” under a drawing of two hands clasped together, portraying unity between the black and white communities.

On Thursday, it was revealed that, despite the vast number of people stating that they were “done with NASCAR”, that the overnight ratings were up over last year and up over the most recent weekday race.

Seems to me like the immediate response to all these changes are for the good.

***

To the “former NASCAR fans” who are “done with NASCAR”, to Ray Ciccarelli, a soon-to-be former NASCAR Truck owner, and to anyone else who has it in their mind that these were all bad moves by NASCAR, get over it.

These were the moves of a growing sport, a more inclusive sport, a sport that people don’t have to feel guilty to enjoy anymore.

This is the new NASCAR, and I am here for it.

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

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Justin Melillo View All

Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com

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