Heading toward Wednesday's Cup Series race, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace revealed his special Black Lives Matter paint scheme. This design drew the attention of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who showed his support on Twitter. James applauded Wallace and gave him a virtual shoutout.
James retweeted Wallace's design while adding in black and white fist emojis. The car is entirely black and features designs promoting the end of systemic racism. Text reading "Black Lives Matter" covers both rear fenders while "Compassion, Love, Understanding" sits on the hood and the bumper. The design also shows a black hand and a white hand grasping each other.
"Let's get it homie. Appreciate you! Respect! [crown emoji]" Wallace wrote in response. He showed his excitement for the interaction with James and posted an animated Gif of the Lakers star slapping his bicep.
Wallace has brought considerable attention to NASCAR in recent days, starting on Sunday when he wore a Black Lives Matter shirt before the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Former NFL safety Bernard Pollard Jr. said that he is tuning in for Wednesday's race and that he will be watching all future NASCAR action. He made this decision due to Wallace's presence on the roster.
Along with Pollard, other NFL stars have declared they will be watching races after the announcement that NASCAR will ban confederate flags from all events. New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara asked, "when the next race??" after retweeting the news. Carolina Panthers safety Tre Boston listed the start time of the Blue Emu 500 and said, "We watching @NASCAR!!!"
Wallace will be in the middle of the pack when the green flag waves on Wednesday. He is starting 23rd overall after a random draw to determine the grid. However, the shorter track will provide him with ample opportunities to move up through the pack and secure his first victory of the season. Wallace will just have to avoid the wrecks that have defined previous races at Martinsville.
Whether or not he achieves this goal, Wallace will race knowing that he made a different impact on the sport. He helped facilitate the confederate flag ban that went into effect on Wednesday afternoon. He also brought several new viewers to the sport after showing support for Black Lives Matter with his T-shirt, as well as his car's paint scheme.