NASCAR’s Diversity Internship Program has a race-based application process that only allows participation by a listed group of racial/ethnic identities and prohibits others from applying. This is part of a wider effort by the racing organization to specifically provide employment opportunities based on race and sometimes gender.
The NASCAR program is a paid internship that involves attending a race, visiting the sport’s Hall of Fame, and meeting with racing teams and industry executives.
After orientation, each intern is matched with a mentor and participates in a weekly lunch with NASCAR executives and others.
Unfortunately, young hopefuls whose skin is not the correct color will miss out on the opportunity.
NASCAR requires applicants to be “one or more of the following races/ethnic minority classifications: Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Latino or Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.”
David Bernstein, a professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law, told the Daily Wire that NASCAR’s program is “blatantly illegal” and that it would “seem to violate Title VII and the 1866 Civil Rights Act.”
“Having a 100% quota for minorities for a position is illegal even under a very generous view of what is allowed,” Bernstein added.
NASCAR’s race-based diversity initiatives are far-reaching through the sport as well, even down to the supply chain.
A mission statement notes that “NASCAR Diversity & Inclusion strives to create an inclusive environment in all facets of the NASCAR industry recognizing the value of diversity, which allows us to go faster and farther in our workplaces, at the race track and in the stands.”
“NASCAR Supplier Diversity” ensures “equitable opportunities to participate in NASCAR’s supply chain.”
You are only considered for this program if you are from “Minority-owned businesses (Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Latinx or Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander),” from a female-owned business, or from an “LGBT-owned” business.
The only caveat that isn’t based on race, gender, or sexual preference is “Veteran, Disabled Veteran and Disabled-owned businesses.”
The racing league also implements a Pit Crew Development Program available only to “aspiring minority and female pit crew members,” as well as a Driver Development Program which, of course, is open to “talented, young, up-and-coming minority and female drivers and pit crew athletes” only.
NASCAR also operates a diversity-focused social media page called “@NASCARDiversity,” which uncomfortably posts race and gender-based content to “engage women & individuals of diverse backgrounds.”
NASCAR did not respond to a request for comment, this article will be updated should any comment be provided.
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