Based on a lawsuit initiated by Terrance Cox and his racing company, Diversity Motorsports Racing, LLC, the answer to that question is a resounding $500 million YES!
The racial discrimination lawsuit was opened when Mr. Cox was not allowed to field a team or join NASCAR’s Drive For Diversity (D4D) program, and after he was told to stop talking to them about it. The D4D program has a wide breadth but was primarily designed to attract minority and female individuals to the sport as drivers.
According to Reuters, Cox filed the lawsuit on September 16th, 2016 in the U.S. district court in Manhattan against NASCAR’s parent company, International Speedway Corp, and 18 other teams. NASCAR had responded in a statement saying:
Diversity both on and off the track continues to be a top priority for NASCAR and its stakeholders. We stand behind our actions, and will not let a publicity-seeking legal action deter us from our mission.
The “Diversity” position is a focus for many major corporations, but to Cox it might have seemed disingenuous as the plaintiffs cited NASCAR’s own website, stating that none of the 48 drivers in the Sprint Cup is black, and only one of the 18 teams has partial African-American ownership. Stated in the complaint:
“Motorsports remain the most racially segregated sport in the United States. NASCAR and ISC have been complicit in, and supportive of, the racially discriminatory environment that virtually excludes African-Americans from meaningful participation.”
The $500 million lawsuit will be distributed $75 million for compensatory and $425 million for punitive damages. Which is a ton of dough, that according to the plaintiff’s lawyer, will go towards encouraging participation of minorities in motorsports. Here’s Cox explaining his global network:
There’s a ton more videos on his channel where he goes on and on about his company and his discussions about various elements of NASCAR, which makes us unsure what to believe about this lawsuit.
On the one hand, Cox might be on a warpath because somehow he couldn’t qualify to field a team, and that this might be him using the race card in protest. However, the claim that there’s little to no African-American participation in the sport hints that perhaps something is wrong at the fundamental level. Regardless, NASCAR is planning on countersuing Cox for defamation.
What do you guys think? Is NASCAR racist?