“Woke” politics is all the rage in sports these days.
Since COVID-19 shut down most professional sports, athletes and teams have more free time on their hands to pontificate about “social justice” in an effort to appease the outrage mob.
And NASCAR’s Denny Hamlin took one action that showed just how afraid he is of Bubba Wallace’s “woke” brand.
Bubba Wallace is in the hunt for new corporate sponsors.
In an effort to recast himself, Wallace seized on the protests after George Floyd’s death to appeal to corporate America’s desire to align themselves with the movement.
What began with Wallace wearing an “I can’t breathe” shirt before a race led to him calling for NASCAR to ban the rebel flag from races on CNN.
NASCAR quickly followed suit by announcing the ban and Wallace proceeded to align himself with the “woke” politics du jour by driving at the historic Martinsville racetrack in southwest Virginia with a #BLACKLIVESMATTER paint job on his car.
Other drivers appear to be concerned about Wallace’s new-found favor and fawning press coverage and want to out-maneuver Wallace’s appeals to the leftist Black Lives Matter movement.
Denny Hamlin – who drives a Toyota – is sponsored by FedEx with ties to Nike’s Jordan brand.
Lebron James – the NBA’s most outspoken “woke” player – has even been spotted wearing the kicks made from fireproof suede taken from Hamlin’s racing boots.
Fireproof suede is hard to come by.. We have several different color variations but this is the material and shoe it’s cut from. Special dye to match @fedex colors. @nascar #nbakicks @Jumpman23 https://t.co/R8CMGRPskv pic.twitter.com/BJ30egFR4V
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) June 7, 2018
Given his ties to “woke” sponsors, Hamlin was likely feeling some pressure before Talladega to show his allegiance to the burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement.
That led to Hamlin working with FedEx to drive a blacked out car promoting the National Civil Rights Museum instead of FedEx’s traditional colors and logo.
For today’s race, @FedEx has chosen to remove all of their branding and traditional colors, with this week’s theme being to listen and learn as they spotlight the @NCRMuseum, which they are featuring on the hood. pic.twitter.com/hfd5aGq2e9
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) June 21, 2020
Hamlin tweeted out photos of himself visiting the museum in the same city as FedEx’s world headquarters, including one looking pensive from the spot where MLK, Jr. was assassinated, saying, “I promised to listen and that’s what I’m doing.”
I promised to listen and that’s what I’m doing. Today you will see my #11 car will not carry the traditional paint scheme that you usually see. @FedEx and myself instead want to give that voice to the @NCRMuseum. Exhibit photos courtesy of the NCRM. pic.twitter.com/KJ0sKumnUT
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) June 21, 2020
Our team of experts at Sports with Balls is eager for the day when sports go back to being sports and leave “woke” political stunts for the professionals.
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