NASCAR is being sued for $500 million in a lawsuit that accuses the auto racing body of racial discrimination, reports Reuters. Terrance Cox and his company, Diversity Motorsports Racing, is behind the lawsuit and claims NASCAR prevents African-American-owned teams and drivers from competing in the sport.
The lawsuit was filed last week in Manhattan, NY against NASCAR, its parent company, International Speedway, and all of the 18 teams. In addition to $500 million, Cox is looking for NASCAR to “fully integrate the African-American community,” reports Reuters. According to the plaintiff, the lawsuit followed shortly after NASCAR refused Cox’s bid to field a team or join the sport’s Drive for Diversity program. NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program encourages “marketable” minority and female drivers with racing experience to pursue involvement with the sport.
Cox also claims that none of the 48 drivers competing in the Sprint Cup are African American, while only one of the 18 teams has partial African-American ownership. The plaintiff asserts that there is only one African American driver in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series circuit – Darrell Wallace Jr., who is a driver for Roush Fenway Racing.
The lawsuit seeks $425 million in punitive damages and $75 million in compensatory damages. NASCAR released a statement claiming the lawsuit has no merit.
In the midst of the lawsuit between NASCAR and Cox, TMZ Sports reports that Steve Harvey’s bid to start a NASCAR team was shot down, because of the sport’s racial discrimination. According to TMZ Sports’ report, NASCAR rejected Harvey’s bid last year when the comedian reached out to Cox to start a new racing team. In the report, Cox claims that NASCAR told Harvey the sport would never approve a team associated with Cox’s Diversity Motorsports.
Harvey, on his personal Twitter account, addressed the situation by claiming the whole thing was false. In a short video of the comedian talking on his radio show, Harvey states that the discussions between Cox and the comedian started with getting underprivileged youth into NASCAR. After the situation spiraled into something else, with Cox planning to boycott Coca-Cola, Harvey stopped participating.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of confusion on how Harvey is involved in the lawsuit. TMZ Sports claims that NASCAR plans to countersue Cox for defamation.