Another sports league has made history with the addition of a Black man in a high ranking position.
Erik Moses, the former president of the XFL’s DC Defenders, has been named the first-ever Black track president in NASCAR history. Come 2021, he’ll be tasked with rebooting the Nashville, Tennessee speedway. The track was built by Dover Motorsports in 2001 and had been used for NASCAR and Indy Car events up until 2011. But it 2012, owners announced that they’d no longer seek sanctions going forward because of poor attendance and lack of interest in hosting Cup Series events.
But now, the track is set to host its first race is over a decade come June 2021 with Moses at the helm. Dover announced the news before Saturday’s Monster Mile race.
“Our partnership with NASCAR is for them to put on the race and bring the circus to town,” Moses said. “Our job is to make certain that the big top is ready. Make certain that everybody in and around middle Tennessee and the rest of that area understands we’re going to have a Cup Series race and they can look forward to the type of experience that NASCAR fans expect and deserve.”
Moses also noted that while he is the first Black person to hold such a post, it shouldn’t be lost on others that many are qualified for such important positions.
“Any time that you have the distinction of being the first at anything professionally, it is a humbling kind of honor,” Moses told The Associated Press. “That said, I’m not naive enough to believe that I’m the first person of color qualified enough to run a NASCAR track. I am thankful [to Dover] for their confidence in my experience and ability to lead that effort. I’m also thankful to the folks at NASCAR for their confidence in me, as well. I’m going to focus on the job. I got hired to do a job, not because of what color I am.”
Like many other sports leagues, NASCAR has been trying to shed its racial issues by being more progressive lately. They’ve recently begun supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and drivers have even teamed up –similar to how the NFL did– and created a video in support.
The sport’s lone Black driver, Bubba Wallace, even has his race car outfitted with a #BlackLivesMatter decal.