Bill Lester Talks Being a Black NASCAR Driver on CNN: ‘I Was Not Really Embraced’
As the controversy over NFL protests rages on, many leading NASCAR figures have come out firmly against the idea of kneeling for the National Anthem.
The outcry from those in NASCAR against the protests has served to shine a light on the sport’s lack of diversity. Wednesday on CNN, Bill Lester — one of four African-American drivers ever to compete in NASCAR — spoke about his experience. His words were far from complimentary.
“[W]hen I came over [to NASCAR], I was not really embraced,” Lester said. He added, “I have been booed and it was surprising to me, because, you know, I think that I did a great job behind the wheel. I think that I respected the sport. But for no reason that I can foresee, I was booed.”
Lester cited Talladega, AL and Martinsville, VA as two tracks at which he was resoundingly booed.
I just couldn’t understand why. I have never made disparaging remarks or offended anybody to my knowledge. But for whatever reason, I wasn’t really embraced.
Now, that’s not to a man, I was pleasantly surprised about the fact that there were some fans that really did, you know, embrace me and say, “we’re happy you’re here.” But by and large, for the most part, you know, when you’re getting booed loud and clear for nothing that you think you deserve, it makes you sit back and take pause.
Watch above, via CNN.
[featured image via screengrab]
Follow Joe DePaolo (@joe_depaolo) on Twitter
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]