Just What We Need…

By Gregory Moore
Updated: October 23, 2004

SAN ANTONIO, TX.—There is a group who is boycotting NASCAR and calling this organization racist. The name of the group is the National Assocation for Minority Race Fans (NAMRF) and they are claiming that their mission is to make viewing of NASCAR racing safe for minorities. They have a website. They are a part of some ill conceived documentary. The group thinks it is doing the Black racing community a favor. Yet there are a series of questions that needs to be asked about this group and whether they are addressing legimate concerns or are they simply trying to get publicity like so many other ‘righteous’ groups of the Black community.

NASCAR has gone out of it s way over the years to include minorities into their sport. There are Black, Hispanic and women owned teams on the Busch series. There are also several racers who are successful in the various categories that NASCAR covers. But to say that Blacks or other minorities are being threatened at a race is a little absurd. If anything, maybe what NAMRF needs to do is to help generate fans to a sport that has gone from being labeled as a ‘redneck’ sport to a coporate entity. If they want to help the sport grow, then maybe what this group should do is to take the advice that was found on an article about the growth of the Black race car driver in 2002. Part of the article said the following: Black drivers will find sponsors if their fans become more visible.

That statement holds true right now because like baseball, football and basketball. Those sports grew in popularity for Blacks and Hispanics when the viewership saw more of ‘them’ playing the sports. The same can be said for auto racing. As long as there is a small percentage racing and/or taking ownership interest, the minority fanbase will be low.

What NAMRF and its founders/supporters are doing is akin to pitting one parent against another. The group swears that racism abounds in the stands during races but yet there has not been a single incident, that I know of, has been reported. I haven’t seen any news reports from any news agencies that would tell me differently. So why would this organization want to incite a sitution in the Black community? What gain do they truly have for pitting the NASCAR community against the Black and/or Hispanic communities?

I’ve done some small investigative work about the NAMRF group. I’ve checked their website and tried to find out how to contact them. I’ve asked a few questions from individuals in the racing community about this group. Nothing that I have heard or read about them gives me any reason to discount the claims that they are making right now. However their actions do give me cause for concern. Tauting racism in this day and age is not a wise thing to do unless there are some stone cold facts. If this group lacks those facts, then they are doing irreperable harm for the very communities that they say they are are trying to help.

If NAMRF is truly interested in diversifying the NASCAR scene, maybe what they need to do is also educate themselves and help bring new racers and owners to the game. Tauting racism can only get you so far these days and sometimes it shuts you out all together.