Bubba Wallace on Jacob Blake shooting, protests

Bubba Wallace said Thursday night that NASCAR and its members would continue to stand up for victims of police brutality in the wake of sports protests after Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he tried to get into his vehicle.

Wallace, the lone Black driver at NASCAR’s top level, has found his voice as protests against systemic racism and social injustice have swept the country this summer following multiple prominent instances of police brutality. He called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag after George Floyd’s homicide in Minneapolis and drove a car adorned with “Black Lives Matter” at Martinsville hours after NASCAR officially banned fans from flying the flag at its tracks in June.

Thursday night, Wallace said in a series of four tweets that NASCAR would race as scheduled on Friday and Saturday night and called for everyone to “continue to push for what’s right” and said that he supported protests happening in other sports.

“Many of you are wondering ‘what will NASCAR do’ …. We set the tone for sports coming back during this pandemic. We stood up for change. We stood up for racial justice. We stood up for George Floyd, we stood up for Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

“We will continue to stand for the countless victims of police brutality. Nothing can justify Jacob Blake being shot 7 times in the back. I proudly support my brothers and sisters from all sports backgrounds and the stance they are taking to fight for equality.

“I hope you all understand that by us continuing to race this weekend does not mean we are stepping down and turning away from the dark and evil acts that have taken over our nation. Absolutely not!

“I can assure all of you that myself and many of my competitors are continuing to work hard with NASCAR to continue the efforts and the fight for racial equality. Let’s stand or kneel together and continue [to] push for what’s right.”

NASCAR held a moment of silence ahead of its Atlanta race on June 7 as protests following Floyd’s death were happening across the country. In a pre-race speech, NASCAR president Steve Phelps acknowledged that NASCAR and the country “must do better” addressing racial injustice.

“Our country is in pain and people are justifiably angry, demanding to be heard,” Phelps said on June 7. “The Black community and all people of color have suffered in our country, and it has taken far too long 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, our competitors 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.”

Bubba Wallace is currently 22nd in the points standings. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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