Conservative group America First Legal has accused more than a dozen companies of having discriminatory diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
Among the companies targeted by AFL are Major League Baseball, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Morgan Stanley.
In NASCAR’s top national series—the Cup Series—when it comes to drivers there is one Latino, one Japanese American, one Black and no females.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps says the sanctioning body will continue its diversity efforts that have been in place for about two decades despite a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by the conservative group America First Legal.
“I’m proud of the work that we’ve done in the areas of diversity inclusion to broaden our sport,” Phelps says. “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.”
The group, led by Stephen Miller, has asked the EEOC to investigate NASCAR and Rev Racing for “illegal discrimination against White, male Americans.” During the past year AFL has accused more than a dozen companies of having discriminatory diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. Among the companies targeted by AFL are Major League Baseball, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Morgan Stanley.
The EEOC has yet to publicly respond to the AFL’s requests that potentially put the civil rights organization in the position of investigating corporate policies aimed at reducing workplace discrimination. NASCAR is a private company.
AFL claims NASCAR and Rev Racing’s programs that include 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.
Previously, the programs specified they were for women and ethnic minorities. They were updated Sept. 1 to say applicants were sought with “diverse backgrounds and experiences,” according to the AFL’s letter to the EEOC.
NASCAR’s programs over the last 20 years have increased diversity throughout the sport; however, most of the drivers and team members are white men. In NASCAR’s top national series—the Cup Series—when it comes to drivers there is one Latino, one Japanese American, one Black and no females. The only full-time female driver in the sport’s three national touring series is Hailie Deegan in the Craftsman Truck Series. She is moving into NASCAR’s Xfinity Series for 2024.
The 15 drivers in the Drive for Diversity Combine held last month came from Georgia, California, Florida, Mexico, Brazil, Colorado, North Carolina, Indiana, and South Carolina. NASCAR has sought to diverse the people involved in the sport in an effort to grow its fan base.
“We are going to continue to make sure that we are broadening our fan base and broadening our fan base across every segment of this population, young, old, black, white, male, female, all of it, because that’s how we’re going to grow,” Phelps says. “We’re going to do it with all kinds of programs to meet potential race fans where they are or existing race fans wherever they are.”