‘NASCAR–Gold Ole Boys Come Together’
It was something we seldom see happen in sports, unless there is a tragedy.
Not since baseball’s return in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Twin Towers tragedy, have I seen anything like this.
The Good Ole Boys, what they call the gang of NASCAR drivers, came together in a show of support for African American driver Bubba Wallace, hours after a ‘noose’ was found hanging in his garage on Sunday night at Talladega Speedway in Alabama.
An emotionally overwhelmed Wallace wept as he stood by his car with owner Richard Petty before the race.
Wallace was asked in a drivers meeting to pull his car out of line and drive to the front of pit row.
He did, as they unveiled a painted ‘Black Lives Matter’ logo on the infield…”I Stand With Bubba” sign was painted..
Then the 40-drivers on the starting grid walked behind Wallace’s car to the front of pit row. And then every crew member of all 40-NASCAR teams lined up and followed the drivers to the front of the row standing with Wallace.
The young black driver, who hails from Alabama, just 2-weeks ago sounded off that NASCAR should ban the Confederate flags that fans would bring into the stands. They did.
Some drivers spoke out, most said nothing.
But this was different, as Wallace became the face of the sports protest, only to have the incident in the garage take place after Sunday’s race was rained out.
The outpouring of emotion was everywhere. Drivers hugged Wallace before he climbed into the car. The scene on pit row will be a sports picture of a lifetime.
The unity in that sport, its roots dating back to the ole South of the 1940s will carry on now.
The story will not go away. FBI officials, Department of Justice officials and the ACLU lawyers arrived at the track early Monday morning to take part in the probe. It will be treated as a ‘hate crime’
The garage area, always heavily manned by security, has cameras everywhere, so whomever hung the noose in the garage of car #43 will be found.
Traditions die hard in Dixie. Discrimination, beatings, fire hoses, bombs, lynchings, KuKluxKlan meetings may have been snuffed out but the inbred culture of racism still exists. Sunday night showed that.
Monday at noon told a different story.
White America, on the NASCAR circuit, is joined at one to not only support Bubba Wallace, but to help change culture.
The Good Ole Boys made a straight from the heart statement on pit row just before the race.
Society needs to take a closeup look at what happened.