On Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace will take the track with his car revamped to suit today’s unique and tense moment in the U.S.—he will drive his No. 43 adorned with Black Lives Matter slogans and symbols, including an image of a white hand and a black hand interlocked.
Lakers star LeBron James was among those who tweeted his approval of the car’s design, telling Wallace, “BIG S/O!” on Twitter, with emojis of white and black hands interlocked.
Wallace responded with his thanks, tweeting back to James, “Let’s get it homie. Appreciate you! Respect!”
Wallace is NASCAR’s only black driver who races full-time. As he wrote at the top of his Twitter page in 2017, “There is only 1 driver from an African American background at the top level of our sport..I am the 1. You’re not gonna stop hearing about “the black driver” for years. Embrace it, accept it and enjoy the journey.”
It’s been an eventful week for Wallace. Yesterday, Wallace called for NASCAR to seek the removal of all Confederate-flag paraphernalia from its events. On Sunday in Atlanta, at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, Wallace appeared to pass out during a post-race interview. He called the incident a “quick scare.”
LeBron James Has Been Active Supporting Social Issues
James, who has long been outspoken on social issues, has been especially active in recent weeks and months as racial tensions have spilled into protests, especially following the death of George Floyd two weeks ago in Minneapolis.
On Tuesday, he reacted to news of voting trouble in Georgia, including one report of a black woman who waited three hours to vote while, in an adjacent white neighborhood, “white folks are strolling in.”
James asked on Twitter, “Everyone talking about “how do we fix this?” They say “go out and vote?” What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist?”
LeBron James Tussled With a Familiar Foe Last Week
Just six days ago, James had another dust-up with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
That came after James had a strong reaction to the words of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees last week when Brees came out against NFL players kneeling for the national anthem. Brees later apologized for his comments.
James wrote on Twitter, in response to Brees, “Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why (Colin Kaepernick) was kneeling on one knee??”
James again lashed out on Thursday at Ingraham, an old nemesis. Ingraham defended Brees’ right to his own opinion.
Speaking on her show, Ingraham said, “He’s allowed to have his view about what kneeling and the flag means to him.”
That was some kind of last straw for James. In 2018, when James was making public comments over the span of a few days about the performance of President Donald Trump, Ingraham famously said on her show, “Shut up and dribble.”
“If you still haven’t figured out why the protesting is going on. Why we’re acting as we are is because we are simply F-N tired of this treatment right here! Can we break it down for you any simpler than this right here????”
He added, “And to my people don’t worry I won’t stop until I see CHANGE!!! #ShutUpAndDribbleThisPowerfulBlackManComingFullSteam”