Is NASCAR racist? As ridiculous as they may sound, that’s the argument behind a of a new $500 million lawsuit filed against the racing corporation.
In the lawsuit, Terrance Alton Cox III claims that his Diversity Motorsports Racing, which was founded to “market and promote African-American race car drivers and African-American racing teams” has been continually shut down by NASCAR and other racing organizations.
The lawsuit was filed on Friday and claims that NASCAR “has intentionally interfered with the efforts of Cox and Diversity Motorsports to integrate the U.S. motorsports industry by perpetuating, condoning and actively participating in actions designed to humiliate, degrade, ostracize and exclude Cox.” For example, one of the claims argues that NASCAR refused to help Cox and Diversity Motorsports secure corporate sponsors.
In addition, the lawsuit argues that Steve Harvey (Family Fued) tried to team with Cox and Diversity to create a team called Steve Harvey Races 4 Education and NASCAR “advised Harvey that it would not sanction a race team associated with Cox and Diversity Motorsports.”
The lawsuit points out that African Americans are not highly represented among the NASCAR competitors.
According to the complaint, none of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers listed on the NASCAR website are even partially black, and none of the teams listed on the group’s website are black-owned.
The lawsuit is seeking $75 million in compensatory damages, and another $425 million in punitive damages.