Friday, July 11, 2008

Can Mauricia Grant Save NASCAR From Itself?

Dave Zirin notes in the Huffington Post,

"For the last decade, NASCAR has tried to shed its legacy as a sport indelibly linked to the confederate flag. Motorsports bosses have understood that if their sport were ever to go global, burning rubber couldn't be associated with burning crosses. However, despite efforts to buff their image, it's still a sport where racism pulses below the surface and sexism in the form of bikini clad NASCAR eye-candy is proudly paraded around the speedway, as much a part of the scenery as the stars and bars. NASCAR has for years been in danger of being crushed by this contradiction. They're attempting to reach an upscale international audience while clinging to the worst kind of provincial sewage.

NASCAR execs' preoccupation with having their cake and eating it too has long been a recipe for disaster. And now we have the ingredient that could ruin the entire corporate feast: Mauricia Grant. In 2005, Grant became the first black, female inspection official in the sport's history. Two years later she was fired. Now Grant has filed a $225 million harassment lawsuit against NASCAR alleging "racial and sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination."

Let's face it, folks. There has long been an ugly underbelly of unsavoriness within NASCAR, one that contradicts the beauty of the sport. Perhaps NASCAR is in dire need of a cold, nude shower to wash away its iniquities and cleanse its collective soul from sin. And the one person who might drag them kicking and screaming into the shower stall is Mauricia Grant.

As for you Mauricia Grant, you deserve far, far better than this old-boys-network of beer-guzzling, racist rednecks. They made the bed they lie in, just let them wirth in it.

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