Bubba Wallace will have his No. 43 NASCAR car painted in black with the words “Black Lives Matter” etched over the back wheels for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville on Wednesday.
Wallace, who is black, has been a leading advocate for diversity and a path beyond his sport’s history of racism. Two months ago he spoke out after fellow driver Kyle Larson said the N-word on a live stream. This week he called for NASCAR to ban Confederate flags from tracks.
Amid nationwide protests of police brutality against black individuals in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, Wallace has also become a vocal proponent of the Black Lives Matters movement with his vehicle art. In addition to having “Black Lives Matter” emblazoned on his car, he’ll have written in several places the words, “Compassion, Love, Understanding.”
MORE: NASCAR drivers weigh in on flag debate
Black Lives Matter, founded in 2013, is an organization with a mission “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
The words “black lives matter” are meant to draw attention to the historic degradation of black people in the U.S. and have become a rallying cry beyond the organization itself.