NASCAR is among the latest targets of a conservative legal group’s onslaught against corporate diversity initiatives.
America First Legal (AFL), an organization under the direction of former Trump advisor Stephen Miller, requested that the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigate claims of “illegal discrimination against White, male Americans” made by NASCAR and Rev Racing, a racing team supported by NASCAR to recruit female and nonwhite drivers.
The fact is, however, NASCAR has predominantly featured white male drivers throughout its history. In fact, it has only one Black driver– Bubba Wallace– in its Cup Series. And there just one non-American, Mexican driver, Daniel Suarez, racing full-time in its Cup Series. It also has no women Cup drivers since Danica Patrick retired following the 2018 Daytona 500, so accusations of discrimination against white people have no basis.
DEI initiatives are designed to foster equality and reflect the broader demographics of the nation. Challenging such programs under the guise of civil rights laws is controversial and seen by many as an attempt to obstruct positive societal change.
AFL claimed that NASCAR and Rev Racing’s DEI programs—including its “diversity driver development program,” “diversity pit crew development program,” and the “NASCAR diversity internship program”— violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race and sex.
These programs previously specified that they were intended for women and ethnic minorities. However, they were updated on Sept. 1 to say they sought applicants of “diverse backgrounds and experiences,” according to the AFL’s letter to the EEOC.
Despite the language change, AFL claimed that NASCAR and Rev Racing continue to engage in unlawful hiring practices “under the guise of rebranding as ‘diverse backgrounds and experiences.’”
Over a dozen businesses are accused by the AFL of discriminatory diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, including Starbucks, Major League Baseball, Morgan Stanley, and McDonald’s.
The EEOC has yet to publicly respond to the group’s requests.