Like many public figures on social media, Dale Earnhardt Jr. supported "Blackout Tuesday" and posted a black square on his timeline in the wake of George Floyd's murder. This tweet created several arguments in the comments, so the former NASCAR driver made a blunt statement. He expressed support for Black Lives Matter.
"Seems some in my timeline are confused or curious," Earnhardt tweeted on Tuesday. "So let me be clear. Black Lives Matter. They are hurting and upset, and it's time for me to listen. Riots, violence, and looting is bad and needs to stop. We all better get this s— figured out and fix it. Love and Respect." Earnhardt expressed a desire to make his feelings clear and did so with his statement, although Twitter users continued to argue in response.
There have been ongoing protests in the wake of Floyd's death, both violent and peaceful. Along with the demonstrations, there have been arguments about the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Some agree with this sentiment and show support while others respond by saying that "All Lives Matter." Earnhardt made his opinion on the matter very clear.
In addition to showing his support for Black Lives Matter, Earnhardt sat down with NASCAR's lone African American driver, Bubba Wallace, for a conversation on The Dale Jr. Download. The pair discussed the ongoing protests, Floyd's murder, and facing discrimination. Wallace is someone with experience dealing with discrimination, and he explains the message he sent to NASCAR officials and fellow drivers.
As the only African American in the Cup Series, Wallace is the "go-to" for discussions about race. He appeared during interviews following fellow driver Kyle Larson using a racial slur, and he has answered countless phone calls amid the ongoing protests. As Wallace explained to Earnhardt, there is considerable pressure away from the track.
"It's definitely tough. I think the one thing you can't learn being part of any sport, sanctioning body, whatever it is, is the pressure that comes with it off the race track," Wallace said. "It's how you carry yourself in matters like this. It's how you portray your image, your brand, and that's where the pressure comes from. I can say the same thing as Joe Schmoe from around the block, word for word, but mine is picked out because I'm somebody that has a profession in a national spotlight."
Wallace continued by explaining that there is no practice for dealing with this pressure. You are "thrown to the wolves" and have to learn on the fly. He said that this has led to some mistakes in the past, but he is making strides. One of these mistakes he cited was remaining silent on the issue of unarmed black men dying in incidents with law enforcement.
The Cup Series driver has changed his stance and is now speaking out about these situations. He is also blocking those that throw hate in his direction based on his skin color and other reasons. Wallace wants a change in the country, and he is expressing his viewpoint more frequently.