NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace faced a lot of backlash over speaking out on racism within motorsports. He, though, is not backing down.
Wallace sat down for an interview with FOX Sports commentator Shannon Sharpe on his “Club Shay Shay” broadcast. Sharpe is a Pro Football Hall of Famer who appears with Skip Bayless on FOX Sports’ “Undisputed.”
“You know NASCAR has been a predominantly white sport since its inception,” Sharpe said in opening the interview. “You’re the lone full-time black driver. Why was it so important for you to say, ‘NASCAR, there’s some things going on here that are not right.'”
“Yeah, it was just so tough because a lot of people will say, ‘Shut up and dribble,’ ‘Shut up and play football,’ ‘Keep politics out of the sports,’ you know,” Bubba Wallace said.
Bubba Wallace Says People Look At Us As ‘Entertainment’
“Because they look at us as the entertainment,” he said, “and they don’t want to see us as anything else. ‘You’re an entertainer, that’s it.’ Nah brother, we are people and then when this starts affecting us, that’s when it rises us up to say something.
“And so, while sports have been in a position to talk and use their platforms, which is so powerful, then I encourage all athletes from all backgrounds to do (it),” Wallace said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Here’s Bubba Wallace chatting with Shannon Sharpe about this and other topics.
Wallace Takes Public Stand After George Floyd Death
Back in May 2020, after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis, Minn., police officers, Bubba Wallace started speaking out about the abuse African-Americans have received from officers. In June 2020, he called upon NASCAR to have all displays of the Confederate flag prohibited at races.
The biggest event, though, since Wallace started speaking out happened on June 20, 2020, when a team member reported to NASCAR that a noose was placed at Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR took action, calling the act “heinous” and would work with law enforcement. On Sunday, June 21, before the GEICO 500 race, drivers and crew members gathered together to push Wallace’s car to the front of pit road to show solidarity.
The FBI investigated the incident and found that no foul play had occurred. They said that the alleged noose was actually a pull-down rope with a loop that was located on a garage door. This led to many people saying that Bubba Wallace was a liar and even claiming that the entire event was a “hoax.”