Fatal Flaw In Nascar’s Diversity

Updated: February 24, 2007




Yesterday ‘encore’ Box

( everyone needs a day off )

is a useful message of hope

and while the Max Siegel story

reflects an example of improvement

it does not address core issues

The issue of Diversity for NASCAR can be summed up in one word MONEY. Specifically Sponsor MONEY. Yes all sports are driven by MONEY but the precise nature of MONEY in NASCAR identifies the specific problem for African Americans AND the Solution.

What makes this so timely is that NASCAR CEO Brian France just delivered his annual “State of the Sport” address in which he speaks from on High about all matters that relate to NASCAR. This latest address was delivered following the Daytona 500, speaking last Tuesday. The Daytona 500 which is it necessary to say featured NO African American teams or drivers as usual.

Here is what France had to say about Diversity

one of his favorite rhetorical topics

“I remain not only committed but convinced,” France said, “that if we don’t get diversity right, this sport will not achieve what it needs to achieve from a popularity standpoint. We got to get diversity right.”

Let us interpret his statement for you


Because the fact is very little is changing within the NASCAR organization itself even as an individual such as Max Siegel is hired as a top executive by and for the Dale Earnhardt organization. Let’s turn to another statement Mr. France made in his speech Tuesday to build our Point. He said …..

” more than 100 Fortune 500 businesses currently “invest” in NASCAR, including new partners Bank of America, Dish Network and Tylenol. I think another thing that’s undeniable,” France said, “is the level of competition and the quality of drivers that this sport has attracted over the last four or five years. It’s amazing.”

Well it may all be amazing to Mr. France but it is decidedly not amazing for African Americans. Because even with a level of corporate sponsorship which NO other sport can claim. Not even the NFL has anywhere near 100 of the Fortune 500 companies as sponsors. Not close.

So here is the Point

At the very heart of NASCAR and unlike any other Sport at its core are the corporations which sponsor the individual teams and drivers that compete in large numbers before huge crowds Sunday after Sunday, as well as other days, all year round most often bringing out larger crowds than any other Sport.

Right now there are 2 African American teams struggling to enter the NASCAR mainstream and try and compete in the Big Events but both continue to be plagued by a lack of SPONSORSHIP at the very same time NASCAR is awash in corporate cash like no other Sport on Earth.

In fact Mr. France who literally has as much control over NASCAR rules and management as any all powerful dictator of a 3rd world nation could solve the problem of the lack of Diversity at NASCAR in a moment.

All he has to say in his next speech is ….

” Diversity for NASCAR is as important as any issue facing our future. By being an inclusive sport NASCAR and everyone involved gains by broadening our market as well as addressing legitimate concerns of exclusion in the 21st century.”

And if he continued …..

” African Americans just as all other Americans would love the speed, the excitement, the glamour of NASCAR if we had a fair number of Black teams and African American drivers competing in our large field of cars present in every major race. When in fact there are none.”

And concluding …

” Therefore for the good of our Sport, temporarily and for the foreseeable future until African American teams and drivers are regularly competing at all NASCAR events we will require that 10% of the sponsorship dollars that Fortune 500 companies and other large companies provide to sponsor NASCAR teams and events, that 10% either be directed to a majority African American owned team or be placed in a special fund that NASCAR itself will distribute.”

Problem solved Mr. France

( and no cost for the speech )

yes it is that simple and obvious

there is NO doubt Mr. France knows it

while he refuses to even consider it

what do you think that says

about Mr. Brian France

and his “interest” ( sic )

in NASCAR Diversity.

Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box ……. blackbox@blackathlete.net