November 5, 2023
Miller’s legal group is targeting Rev Racing specifically, claiming that its existence violates title VIII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race or sex.
Despite the fact that NASCAR only has three drivers of color currently competing on its circuit, a conservative law firm with ties to Stephen Miller is leveling accusations against the company’s diversity initiative, alleging bias against white men.
According to Bloomberg, America First Legal has asked the EEOC to investigate NASCAR on the grounds that its diversity initiative is discriminatory against a driver base that makes up 92% of its drivers.
The Charlotte Observer reports that NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, which now has a competition arm, Rev Racing, is successful at attracting diverse drivers to motorsports. According to their reporting, the aim of the team is to gain diversity among not just drivers but the pit crew as well. So far, since 2010, the program has gotten the chance to develop 125 minority and female drivers.
Prior to the initiative, noted Leonard Miller, one of the first Black team owners in the 1970s who paved the way for today’s Black owners like Michael Jordan and Brad Dougherty, there were only a few ways for a Black driver to get on NASCAR’s radar. They either had to perform at an outstanding level, be backed by somebody white, or bring political and financial pressure to NASCAR.
Miller’s legal group is targeting Rev Racing specifically, claiming that its existence violates title VIII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race or sex. According to the group’s press release on Nov. 2, Nick Barry, senior counsel of America First Legal, describes NASCAR’s program as illegal, “NASCAR, in partnership with Rev Racing, has created programs for the benefit of individuals based explicitly on their sex and race. This illegal activity should not permitted to continue. NASCAR shouldn’t be picking drivers based on their race and sex but on their ability to drive. All racial discrimination is wrong, even if it is the in-vogue ‘social justice’ cause of the day.”
The group’s argument is not far from the argument that was used to end affirmative action in higher education, but given that these are private businesses and not public education systems, it seems unlikely that Conservative groups like America First Legal will be successful at stopping an attempt by NASCAR to correct its historical wrongs. In addition to NASCAR, Autoweek reports that the group has targeted MLB, McDonald’s, Morgan Stanley and Starbucks in its attempts at derailing diversity initiatives.
NASCAR’s President Steve Phelps told Autoweek that he has no plans to let the group’s attempt at pressure dissuade the company from doing what it thinks is right for the sport.
“I’m proud of the work that we’ve done in the areas of diversity inclusion to broaden our sport,” Phelps said. “We are going to continue efforts to have the entire country, the entire world, come to our facilities, watch it on television because it’s about a love for racing. I think … racing is a great opportunity for people to come together.”