NASCAR Hit With $500 Million Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Plaintiffs allege the racing organization is keeping black people out of the sport.

nascar race racial discrimination lawsuit diversity the drive
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

NASCAR is being sued for $500 million on the claims that the racing league has discriminated against teams and drivers on racial grounds, according to the plaintiffs in the suit.

On September 16th, Terrance Cox and his company Diversity Motorsports Racing filed a suit against NASCAR, its parent company International Speedway Corporation, and all 18 NASCAR teams. The lawsuit claims NASCAR refused to let Diversity Motor Sports bring a team into the series or join the “Drive for Diversity” program, which is designed to encourage women and minority involvement. 

Adding fuel to the fire, the suit also points out that only one of the 18 teams includes black people amongst their owners, while none of the drivers in the top-tier Sprint Cup series and only one in the Xfinity Series are African-American.

“Motorsports remain the most racially segregated sport in the United States,” the suit states, according to Reuters. “NASCAR and ISC have been complicit in, and supportive of, the racially discriminatory environment that virtually excludes African-Americans from meaningful participation.”

The plaintiffs are seeking $75 million in compensatory damages, and  $425 million in punitive damages. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said the money would go to organizations seeking to increase minority involvement in motorsports, Reuters reports.

NASCAR, not surprisingly, is claiming the lawsuit is ridiculous. The racing organization "embraces all individuals interested and involved in our sport, whether as partners, fans, competitors or employees, and there is no merit to this lawsuit," a spokesperson told TMZ Sports. "Diversity both on and off the track continues to be a top priority for NASCAR and its stakeholders. We stand behind our actions, and will not let a publicity-seeking legal action deter us from our mission." 

TMZ added that NASCAR reportedly plans to countersue the plaintiffs for defamation.