NASCAR Cup Series driver Ty Dillon has been one of NASCAR’s leading voices as civil unrest continues throughout the country.
Using his platform to take a stand against racial inequality, Dillon and fellow Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace recently hosted a 30-minute Instagram Live session to discuss racism and life experiences.
Expect it to be the first of several difficult conversations Dillon brings into the light as he commits to using his voice for good.
“To hear the stories about how Bubba was treated in some of those situations and knowing Bubba’s character and knowing him as a human being, that blew my mind because I would have never thought Bubba, as a person, would have gone through anything like that,” Dillon said. “But, I think that’s just what it is. I think sometimes it’s easy for us who don’t know, as a white man or a white person, in general, we don’t know these stories. We don’t all the time ask the right questions to become informed.”
Dillon also applauded Wallace for being willing to speak up during a difficult time for the nation.
“I’m just proud of him as a friend, knowing him his whole career, too, and I think we’re going to see great things come out of this generation of NASCAR of who is in the sport right now,” Dillon said. “Hopefully it sets the tone for who comes after us. And for all of us, that would be the most important thing that we do.”
Dillon has made a conscious effort to understand what he and the NASCAR community must do in order to assist in positive change, reaching out to fellow drivers and NASCAR executives to create an objective for sparking a movement.
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He feels it’s going to take a collective effort from the entire industry for that to happen, but that now is the perfect opportunity to make those changes.
“I think it does take, as a group, saying that we don’t stand for it,” Dillon said. “And once we all know that we’re all on the same page as saying we don’t stand for it, we come together with a united voice saying that we don’t tolerate hate, racism, bigotry in our sport and that it’s not OK.
“… There are great conversations going on with the folks in our sport. … And I’m very proud of that. Our sport is doing a good job, but it also takes the individuals who aren’t afraid to step out and say this isn’t about me anymore.”
While the feedback has been mostly positive, Dillon acknowledged that not everyone will be comfortable with what he has to say. That’s not going to stop him from openly discussing an uncomfortable topic that matters to him, though.
For Dillon, the reward of working toward racial equality is worth taking a stand.
“For me, I can tell you about my heart on it and for me, I don’t care if I ever win a race or a championship in my life or lose every follower I have on Instagram, but when my children grow older and I take my last breath, I want it to be made sure that I was on the right side of what I felt is going on in history,” Dillon said. “And that means way more than acquiring fame and trophies and wins. Those things all fade away. But the impact you had on human beings in your life, the relationship lasts forever. So, that’s my heart behind this.
“… I just wanted to stop, in the middle of my career, and say ‘Hey, this is where I stand.’ There is the taunting in your head of what if I lose this or what if something happens. But, I know at the end of the day, this is what I believe in and I’ll stand up for what I believe in.”