You know, I’ve never really gotten into watching auto racing. For that matter, I don’t really love to watch any kind of racing, be it by machines, horses or humans. I’m more of a team-sport fan.
In fact, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve always held a somewhat unfair, stereotypical prejudice against NASCAR. For many years, it brought to my mind images of mullet-wearing rednecks swilling Budweiser, spittin’ and chewin’ around the TV set, situated beneath a huge Confederate flag serving as drapery for the picture win-da, with hound dogs under the porch and about six cars littering the front yard in various stages of decomposition.
So you can certainly imagine my sarcasmo surprise when I read this morning that NASCAR suspended two “officials” indefinitely, pending an investigation. Seems that another NASCAR employee — a Mauricia Grant — filed a $225 million lawsuit…
…alleging 23 specific incidents of sexual harassment and 34 specific incidents of racial and gender discrimination during her time as a technical inspector for NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide Series.” (espn.com)
Ok, that does no favors for the NASCAR stereotype, especially when the racial slurs against this black woman referred to her as a “nappy-headed Mo” working on “colored people time.” Of course the defendants are firing back at the allegations, saying she was a “willing participant” in the shenanigans.
Do you find it odd that one of the defendants happens to be named David Duke? Bizarre. There’s a name for that kind of coincidence. I just can’t think of it.
I’m reading some wild blog reactions. Take this one, from blackvoices.com:
I am a (white [female]) media member, and was invited behind the scenes to attend one of the races last year. I brought a gorgeous black friend as my guest for the day, and she wasn’t openly harassed, but she was basically ignored. Then I was grabbed by one of the drivers, who thought it was totally funny until I threatened to report the incident to his sponsor, and only then did I finally get an apology. Every NASCAR fan I told the story to afterward said, ‘What do you expect? It’s NASCAR!’ Needless to say, I never accepted another race invite, and then I came across research about the ‘sport’s’ horrible environmental record, and I felt even more strongly about not supporting this organization. I cannot understand how anyone who is female, black, or who cares about the environment can support NASCAR, given their appalling record on all these issues. And the best way to get any change is to complain to the sponsors…obviously doing the right thing is not enough for NASCAR to change, but maybe hitting their bottom line will be a wake-up call.”
Well, no matter. Money will be paid, hushing will take place, and it’ll have been a tempest in a teapot. Someone on some blog this morning said that “NA$CAR is not a sport. It’s a business.” Well they’re in good company. They can sit down next to the $NBA$, the $NFL$, and $MLB$. The hubris and utter excess of these organizations must surely someday bring about their undoing.
PS – Nobody’s won the contest yet. Here’s a hint: what was the theme of yesterday’s post?