NASCAR Driver Bubba Wallace, Richard Petty Motorsports & NASCAR
… for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in several ways. Wallace, driving for the Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) team, worked with RPM on a Black Lives Matter paint scheme promoting racial equality, driving it first at the NASCAR Cup Series race on June 10. A graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program and the only full-time black driver in their Cup Series, Wallace also has worked with NASCAR to ban Confederate flags at tracks. Saying the flag ban “felt like a win,” Wallace said this about being an athlete speaking up for equality:
It’s definitely been a lot. It’s mentally taxing. But it’s that part of the pedestal that you sign up for. It doesn’t say that on the front page, the book of being an athlete or an icon of a sport. It doesn’t say that on the front page of what you have to go through; it’s just part of it.
… for naming Xavier Gutierrez as its new Team President and CEO, making him the first Latino to serve in in this capacity in history of the National Hockey League.
NBA Atlanta Hawks
… for plans to make Juneteenth a permanent company holiday. June 19, also known as Juneteenth, commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.
Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter
… for supporting trans women’s identity, saying: “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo [J.K. Rowling] or I.”
NBA Superstar LeBron James
… for starting More Than A Vote with other prominent black athletes and entertainers to both encourage black voting and combat acts of voter suppression.
Photos courtesy of Richard Petty Motorsports, NASCAR & Getty Images.