NASCAR Hit with Racial Discrimination Suit
NASCAR was hit with a $500 million lawsuit accusing the auto racing entity of racial discrimination for preventing Black-owned teams and drivers from competing, Reuters reports.
Terrance Cox and his company, Diversity Motorsports Racing LLC, filed the lawsuit late Friday in U.S. district court.
The suit listed NASCAR, its parent company, International Speedway Corp, and 18 teams as defendants, according to court records.
The plaintiffs are also seeking an injunction that will require the defendants to “fully integrate the African-American community.”
NASCAR dismissed the lawsuit, saying it has no merit.
“Diversity both on and off the track continues to be a top priority for NASCAR and its stakeholders,” the organization said in a statement. “We stand behind our actions, and will not let a publicity-seeking legal action deter us from our mission.”
According to reports, the plaintiffs sued after NASCAR refused to allow them to field a team or join its Drive for Diversity program. They say they were told last year to cease contact.
The plaintiffs cited NASCAR’s website and said none of the 48 drivers in the Sprint Cup, the entity’s top racing series, are Black, and just one of NASCAR’s 18 teams has partial African-American ownership. They also said only one driver in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series circuit is Black.
“Motorsports remains the most racially segregated sport in the United States,” the complaint said. “NASCAR and ISC have been complicit in, and supportive of, the racially discriminatory environment that virtually excludes African-Americans from meaningful participation.”
The lawsuit seeks $75 million in compensatory damages and $425 million in punitive damages.
Attorney Ronald Paltrowitz is representing the plaintiffs. He said any funds would go toward groups that the plaintiffs sponsor to boost minority participation in motorsports.