Prior to Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, NASCAR drivers took part in a moment of silence for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and a number of other victims of police brutality. FOX also played a video featuring some of the stock car racing's biggest names. Bubba Wallace, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and several top drivers banded together to advocate for change.
These drivers posted a video on their social media platforms on Sunday in which they discussed fighting systemic racism. FOX also aired the video prior to Sunday's race. Wallace said that the drivers are "no strangers to going fast" while Kyle Busch said that it's time to slow down. They named three of the victims of police brutality and said it is time to condemn racism and inequality.
Along with current drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took part in the video. He also said that it's time to speak up about the ongoing issues in the country. He and the other participants said that it is going to be a long road, but they are committed to making the trip together.
Prior to the moment of silence, Wallace drew attention for his attire. He wore a shirt stating, "I Can't Breathe. Black Lives Matter" during the pre-race ceremonies. Some fans didn't agree with him "stating a political opinion," but the majority of viewers applauded Wallace's decision to wear this shirt ahead of Sunday's race.
"Thank you for your time," NASCAR President Steve Phelps said during a speech to the drivers on Sunday. "Our country is in pain and people are justifiably angry, demanding to be heard. The black community and all people of color have suffered in our country, and it has taken far too long for us to hear their demands for change. Our sport must do better. Our country must do better.
"The time is now to listen, to understand and to stand against racism and racial injustice. We ask our drivers ... and all our fans to join us in this mission, to take a moment of reflection, to acknowledge that we must do better as a sport, and join us as we now pause and take a moment to listen."
NASCAR has faced criticism since Kyle Larson used a racial slur during a virtual race. However, racing's governing body and its top drivers are making a unified statement while condemning racism. They are expressing a desire to help create change and are vowing to truly listen.