US motorsport is so racist
After the death of the US-American George Floyd, the debate on racism has been reignited. What is the situation in American motorsport?
With his Instagram post on discrimination against minorities, Lewis Hamilton has also triggered a debate on racism in motorsport.
A debate that had recently gained momentum when NASCAR driver Kyle Larson (27) addressed his race engineer during a virtual NASCAR race with “Hey Nigger”. The US American was fired immediately by his team Ganassi.
But once the debate is underway, it cannot be stopped. In the meantime, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, the only dark-skinned NASCAR driver in the field, has also spoken out. He is taking the same line as Hamilton – and that in the USA, where racism plays an even greater role in everyday life than in Europe.
Wallace and Larson have spoken out
Wallace: “Kyle said something wrong. “Whether in public or in private, something like this hurts me. I’ve already had a clarifying conversation with him.” Larson’s costing Larson a lot of money for a verbal lapse: Sponsors and manufacturers have cut him off, NASCAR has suspended the Californian until further notice.
The reactions of NASCAR are fierce but important. The most popular US racing series wants to and must clearly distance itself from racist tendencies. Because it has no glorious past in this respect.
This is shown by the story of Wendell Scott, an African-American who competed in a total of 495 races in the NASCAR top league from 1961 to 1973. Even that was a sensation back then: “Especially in smaller leagues I was sometimes not even allowed to participate. They told me that I wasn’t allowed to drive, but that I was happy to leave my self-made car to a white boy. My tears came,” he once said.