Jemele Hill: NASCAR Noose Incident ‘Disgusting Reminder’ of ‘Who This Sport Is For’

Monday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” former ESPN sports commentator and current Atlantic writer Jemele Hill said the noose left in driver Bubba Wallace’s garage stall a “disgusting reminder” of who NASCAR “is for.”

Discussing Bubba Wallace getting NASCAR to ban Confederate flags, Hill said, “For him what he has done and how he has been able to speak to some issues that frankly you never see discussed in NASCAR and for the blowback and the reminder, the painful reminder of just how much people are invested in remaining and maintaining racist institutions, for him to get that message, I think it’s just beyond unfortunate. It’s sad. But NASCAR they’ve had to deal with maybe not directly nooses in stalls, but the shadow of the Confederate flag being a symbol that you often saw at NASCAR races. These very overt reminders about who this sport is exactly for and who should be a fan of this sport. This is something they have been dealing with a long time and, unfortunately, in this way, these issues bubbled to the surface.”

She continued, “As someone who has attended several NASCAR races, it’s hard for people of color to feel comfortable in these environments when you see the Confederate flag everywhere when you just get this sense that you’re at something that you’re not welcome at. As much as NASCAR may try to distance itself from that, it is a living, breathing part of their sport. And you have a black driver. You have an opportunity here to open this sport up in a new way.  So for this reminder, very stunning, shocking, appalling, disgusting reminder of who, again, this sport is for. I’m very curious to see how NASCAR handles this because, based on everything I’ve read, this had to be an inside job because this garage was only open to essential personnel. So, somebody associated with NASCAR likely may have been the culprit, which what does that say for a sport that is trying to create a more positive racial future.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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