2020 has been an emotionally volatile year in almost all regards and almost everyone has been affected. The catalyst for most of today’s hysteria can be awarded to the modern-day black plague of COVID-19, which has unapologetically claimed in its own regards the lives of many loved ones, our financial stability, mental health, and the social framework that provides us with the intuition and common sense to love thy neighbor rather than social injustice and wrongdoings. Although, prior to the current global state that we’re living in, we’ve also been locked in a battle against the virus of racial injustice that has plagued this country since its 243-year history.
NASCAR has recently announced that Brandon Thompson will now be positioned at the newly appointed role of Vice President of Diversity Inclusion. A surprising and seemingly progressive role created by NASCAR. Brandon Thompson is a well-respected member among the organization and has been viewed as the right choice to lead the sport into a more diverse setting and to remove the sport from its biased history in regards to the lack of diversification and inclusion of minorities.
Although with all the escalated attacks on minorities this year from the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery to the gruesome video of George Floyd suffocated to death without remorse from the police, the public and social media community has been in an uproar. Many companies, politicians, social media outlets and other industries have taken measures to change their perspective, methods, and efforts to combat social injustice.
This of course brings to question the authentic nature of the decision of these companies and other parties taking on a new role to combat racial prejudice among their own industries or if it’s simply a contribution to their PR efforts. Just three and a half years ago, NASCAR and the team owners vocalized how anyone that took part in the kneeling for the national anthem, even though it was a peaceful protest, would be fired and had no place in the industry. This is a completely different message from their new point of view today.
If NASCAR is sincere in its efforts of diversification then we could be looking at a new era in the sport. Brandon Thompson can be the footnote that leads to a new wave of cultural and gender acceptance. Only time will tell the results of NASCAR’s progressive attempts. We’ll look at Brandon Thompson to lead that wave of change into a new chapter into the sport.
Written by: Gary Grant.