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Bubba Wallace on Adam Toledo & the ‘Never-Ending Battle’

Thursday, April 15, was a day dominated by news related to the deaths of Black people by way of police officer.

In Minneapolis, Minn., the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of murdering George Floyd last May, came to its conclusion.

Miles away in Brooklyn Center, Kim Potter was arraigned on a charge of second-degree manslaughter after she shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday, April 11.

And in Chicago, body cam footage was released that showed an officer shooting and killing 13-year-old Adam Toledo following a foot chase on March 29. In the body cam footage and other video, Toledo appears to toss away a gun before he turns to face the officer with his hands up before being shot.

Thursday night, just after 11 p.m. ET, Bubba Wallace posted a tweet with Adam Toledo’s name used as a hashtag.

“It seems like every day now is a different hashtag, just sad,” Wallace lamented Friday morning in a media session that had been scheduled well ahead of Thursday.

In fact, it was Wallace’s second tweet in less than 48 hours containing such a hashtag.

Wednesday, he posted one with Wright’s name.

“Sad, angry,” Wallace responded when asked how it felt to post similar tweets in such a short period of time.

“I mean, what are we supposed to do? It’s just unfortunate to watch and to see everything that’s going on. It’s tough to talk about, honestly. Because it seems like there’s no progress being made, especially the one I watched last night (where an officer) shot the 13-year-old kid and (his) hands were up. So that’s simply doing what you’re asked to do. And still not good enough.”

Wallace is no stranger to these conversations.

Last year in the wake of the deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia (which particularly affected Wallace), the 23XI Racing driver shared his own experiences of being profiled by law enforcement.

He also talked about how he lost a cousin to a police shooting when he was a child. The officer was later cleared of wrongdoing. His family filed a civil suit and lost in court on appeal.

While the events of the last five days are tough for Wallace to talk about, he’s “comfortable” being put in that situation.

“I’m not just going off some tangent and just speaking nonsense,” Wallace said. “It’s much easier for me to talk about these topics of unarmed Black men and being a part of discrimination by the police. Like them,  I’ve been a part of it. When it affects you directly, it makes it easier and it makes you, unfortunately, comfortable to talk about those things versus  anybody else in the field. I tried to do my best at encouraging my peers and other competitors to do the same.

“Because you know, the great quote of ‘if it doesn’t affect you indirectly, doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect the other ones around you directly.’ So that’s big and so the more people that understand that is huge. … I am the one to talk about it. People are going to come to me and talk about it. So they know that I’m going to give them a honest and true answer.”

When Wallace posted his tweet with Wright’s name Wednesday, it was to promote a video produced by NASCAR documenting new partnerships meant to “advance diversity, equity and inclusion” in the sport and society.

The organizations NASCAR is partnered with include the Urban Youth Racing School, Trevor Project, the Women’s Sports Foundation and UnidosUS.

“I’m proud of the efforts from NASCAR,” Wallace said. “Continuing to try to show that, hey, we are as inclusive as any other sport and that we want everybody to come out. And so showing those efforts is big and we can’t stop, we’re not stopping. We’re not letting off the gas or anything. We’re continuing to go.

“So excited to see that direction and excited to have those conversations with the NASCAR leadership to see how we can just continue to build off this. But yeah, you just gotta keep going. This is a never-ending battle, as we see each and every day, but we’ll try to do our part. And hopefully, one day society will wake up and treat each other with respect.”

Wallace was in the news himself this week as he and the rest of 23XI Racing publicly received COVID-19 vaccine shots in an effort to encourage more Americans to go through with it.

Currently, only 23.6% of Americans are fully vaccinated.

“It was good partnership and a good collaboration with Novant Health to encourage others,” Wallace said. “I’m not trying to shove it down people’s throats. I’m just saying, hey, I’m comfortable taking this route to get us back to a normal capacity at all aspects of life, go back to what we used to do. And Novant Health had a great outing. I had the whole shop floor looking like a hospital floor. All the crew guys getting their vaccines and whatnot.

“So I thought doing my part, saying, hey, if I can do this, we can do it together and show that we’re trying to take the right steps to get us back to pre-COVID. Where times were somewhat good, I’d say. It’s just all about doing the research. And people I know are very hesitant on trying out some experimental shot or vaccine. But I’m OK right now. And I feel good and knowing that I’m doing my part and a small part to help everybody feel comfortable is big.”

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24 thoughts on “Bubba Wallace on Adam Toledo & the ‘Never-Ending Battle’”

  1. Great article about racing. Love coming here to read about sports so I can get away from the day to day stuff about police, bad guys, and covid.

    • Why is it in every incident I have seen videos of, never have I witnessed the victim doing what the law enforcement officer ask them to do. Seems as their ego is so high they will not do what their are asked to do causing disrespect on each. After all what would it hurt to do what they are asked. They act as though it is disrespect to do anything but decline. Many use this an opportunity to one up law officials. They have no respect for any officer black or white. Can they not just try doing what they are ask.

  2. Here we go again. What a joke. What’s Bubba been doing about the multitudes of young black men killed by other young black men every day? On pace to break records in Chicago and Philly again this year to name a few… Answer – nothing because it doesn’t pay. Take a look at the recent real estate purchases by BLM founder – Patrisse Khan-Cullors. Yes, another champion of the oppressed.

    • Bubba is doing nothing about that and never will. Hey Bubba, just STFU and drive before you get replaced. Your ignorance is showing.

  3. bubba’s white daddy made sure he grew up on the other side of town. Bubba never experienced growing up where these people grew up. Bubba is trying to be a spokesman for a cause he’s ignored until it’s beneficial for him to speak up.

    • Then he fits right in with a host of other champions of various causes who have never been exposed to whatever they are shouting about.
      Yep, fits right in.

    • Great observations, too many people thinking that it’s ok to disobey law enforcement.

      They refuse any authority after seeing the Libs light up the streets.

      Bubba can’t win so he becomes the poor distraught black victim. Maybe when BLM shares some of their millions, he’ll start winning.

      America is growing tired/angry of the continued “Racist” accusations.

      Biden describes Systemic Racism. He is a systemic liar along with all puppet masters.

  4. I admire Bubba for speaking out on issues that most NASCAR fans are not willing to face. He has also made public his decision to get vaccinated for COVID, which others like Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott have ducked in fear of alienating the conservative fan base. It’s too bad that the reigning Cup champion is scared to be a leader.

      • I’ve got no problem with Hooters. I never could stand Kulwicki, no matter who his sponsor was. I also have no problem with Chase. I wish he would become more of a leader given his popularity and position as defending Cup Champion.

        • Eventually Chase will be a leader. He is still young and probably reticent to speak up amongst all the elders in the sport. Being a leader is something he will grow into as he earns more respect from his peers.

  5. Why is it no one brings up the fact the kid was only 13, carrying a gun at 3 am?This never should have happened.

  6. So ridiculous, another over paid athlete that thinks his voice matters. They only speak when it is white on black issues. Never black on black which accounts to over 65% of black victims. Bubba, your only the poor version of LeBron James. But you both are causing more harm to your word and especially your sport! Congrats stupid

  7. 10’s of thousands of racers with tons of talent have been through the ringer of motorsport. How fast u can go usually is determined by how much you can spend. From motocross to asphalt Karts, WKA Championships, Hobby Stocks & Open wheel modifiers, dirt & asphalt, I have the trophies to prove it. But, as any Racer knows, $$ is what it’s about now. So most of us are relegated to what our checkbooks can support to keep doing what we love. Put the firesuit & the Helmet on & go Race🏁Leave the Politics out. Those Ivory Towers folks never towed their own car 3 hours to win on Saturday night for $250.00, gave it to charity, pressure washed it & banged the fenders out on Sunday.. I know real racers will get this.

  8. I am so happy that Bubba speaks out for injustice for people of color.
    So many are afraid to speak out.

  9. From Ferguson to New York to Baltimore to Chicago to Minneapolis there is one common thread that unites these situations. Every dead one resisted arrest or failed to obey the officer.
    If these celebrities and sports stars want to do something constructive I suggest they go to schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods and address young people about being good citizens, staying in school, not getting pregnant, avoiding drugs etc. Action speaks better then words. Get out and talk to people instead of using Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
    Incidentally Baltimore is ahead of last year in shootings and homicides in the African-American community. Maybe the police are not the problem.

  10. Not one comment asking why a 13 year old boy was out at 3:00 AM involved in an incident where shots were fired that drew the police to the scene. The parents should be charged with the murder of their own son for not stopping him from being in this position to start with. The old saying is “You lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas”. Nothing good is going to happen for a 13 year old at 3:00 AM in the morning carrying a gun, period. That’s the issue here, not that he was shot by a police officer. Let’s talk about the real issue.

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