(WGHP) — NASCAR is flying the rainbow flag for Pride Month while also noting that “recent actions” may not have fallen in line with the organization’s pro-LGBTQ stance.
“As we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, we acknowledge that recent actions have not aligned with NASCAR’s mission to be a welcoming sport for all,” NASCAR said in a statement on Twitter. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to create a more inclusive environment — in our workplaces, at the race track & in the stands.”
The organization did not directly address what those “recent actions” were, leaving some to speculate that it could be connected to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s appearance as “honorary” starter for the May 22 All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Associated Press reporter Jenna Fryer said on Twitter, “I’m not sure what this tweet is acknowledging… someone with the power to acknowledge such things admitted to me Abbott at Texas was a mistake. But below isn’t exactly clear which actions are out of alignment.”
Abbott has most recently been in headlines as the nation reels from a horrific May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead. Abbott’s appearance at the race was unrelated to the shooting as the race took place two days prior.
The possible “mistake” of inviting Abbott could be in relation to his controversial February directive for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents who get their transgender children gender-affirming medical care. The recommendation was not an order or law but did open up parents to face potential child abuse charges. The Texas Supreme Court ruled in May to allow the investigations to take place but added stipulations that officials could choose not to follow through on an investigation and that those who choose to investigate would need judge approval before taking action, according to Bloomberg.
NASCAR has been vocally supportive of the LGBTQ community, even after NASCAR President Steve Phelps made clear that the organization is not associated with politics “on the left or the right.”
In a first for the racing organization, NASCAR is working with the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce as their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion partner for 2022.
“NASCAR is excited to partner with the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce,” said Brandon Thompson, NASCAR’s vice president of diversity and inclusion, in January. “With NASCAR offices and much of our industry based in the Carolinas, we look forward to working with CLGBTCC in support of its mission to foster equity, inclusion and economic prosperity for the LGBTQ community.”
LGBTQ people in need of mental health support can call the Trevor Project’s 24/7 toll-free support line at (866) 488-7386. Trained crisis counselors are also available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or texting 741741.