(66) While other sports have made the mistake of turning political, NASCAR is trying to steer into political challenges and avoid hitting a wall.
This week, NASCAR begins its racing schedule in a rather curious fashion. Normally, the first event of the year is The Clash, a series of small races where the top finishers are gathered for one final sprint. This year, instead of racing at the iconic Daytona Speedway, the series will open inside the famed Los Angeles Coliseum. They have actually paved the interior of the century-old stadium, racing on a cramped, quarter-mile course that is half the size of NASCAR’s smallest short tracks.
The bumps and interference sure to be seen throughout today’s races are a good metaphor to what the sport’s organization is facing in the realm of activist political issues. There is a difference, however, between the political actions with NASCAR , and those seen in recent years in other sports, as the energy behind the issues seems to be flowing in the opposite direction.
Unlike, say, in the NFL with national anthem protests , or the NBA going all-in with Black Lives Matter activism, NASCAR has repeatedly been in the position of having to act against the intents of its fan base, rather than attempting to foist a message onto those watching the sport. The governors have repeatedly taken action seemingly in an effort to appease those outside the sport — and in opposition to those who support racing. AP/Reuters Feed Library
It began years ago, when the sport’s offices put out a message imploring fans to refrain from flying the Confederate flag at NASCAR events. Reacting to some outside pressure, the officials’ statement requested that those attending races not display the banner. We are asking our fans and partners to join us in a […]
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