Posted on May 27, 2008

What Is Missing From This Indy Driver Photo?

Black Athlete Sports Network, May 24, 2008

Tim Brown for one

Don’t bother counting the Drivers in the photo [below] there are 33 ALL the drivers in Sunday’s Indy 500 race including 2 women but just don’t look for any BLACK drivers there aren’t any in the Indy 500 AGAIN & AGAIN

Welcome to Tim Brown’s World. WHO IS TIM BROWN.

Obviously you are about to find out. For starters Brown is an African American as you would expect. And as you would also expect in the context of today’s Box Tim Brown is Racer Auto Racer if not a driver himself just like the 33 very successful and very rich Indy drivers above.

Now Tim Brown is a NASCAR man his company Tim Brown Racing and you are right the Indy 500 is not a NASCAR event. But the distinction is of little significance. There is no way Tim Brown would be in the Indy 500 no matter how much he might want. INDY or NASCAR it’s all the same game for African Americans. Basically you need not apply.

But we can bring the Indy Speedway into this story quite nicely. Back in the summer of 2005 there in Indianapolis newly retired NFL wide receiver Tim Brown and Heisman Trophy winner announced he had formed Tim Brown Racing to compete in the highest reaches of NASCAR racing. How could he lose. Talented, successful, athlete, good business man, well heeled and MOTIVATED. What more did he need ???

Turns out SURPRISE SURPRISE. Tim Brown is missing White Skin. Oh yes here they come ALL the Nay Sayers. WHO is trying to keep African Americans out of auto racing. SHOW US the evidence. Solid proof. Some finger prints !!

OOOPs all we have is REALITY.

The fact there are NO African Americans seriously involved in Auto Racing and NASCAR specifically except for some lone examples at the edges. Here is how the game is played. Auto Racing is very EXPENSIVE as a Sport and major sponsors are required even if you throw in your own Dough. In addition SPONSORSHIPS are the Coin of this Realm. Nobody takes anyone seriously who cannot attract Big Name corporate sponsors especially since there is more visible corporate money in auto racing than any other Sport on Earth.

Now watch the Corporate Sponsors RUN THE OTHER WAY when they see a Black Man coming. Nobody shouts N _ _ _ _ r in fact everyone is very friendly in a superficial way. But they NEVER invest or sponsor the African American owned or driven racing team. Do you have a better definition for RACISM. We don’t. Not in the 21st century.

To make the matter even clearer the very powerful NASCAR organization could solve the problem in a moment. They could require something as simple as as non-threatening (sic) rule that any corporation sponsoring NASCAR events or teams must contribute 5% of that sum to a special “minority” fund that NASCAR will use to supply sponsorship money to African American owned and/or driven racing teams. Problem solved.

Except NASCAR will never do it for 2 reasons 1) their own biased NASCAR culture, 2) aided and abetted by the corporate SPONSORS who don’t want such a requirement. Case close AFRICAN Americans walk certainly they don’t do NASCAR.

Let’s get back to Tim Brown

Because he is where the action is. It is one thing to talk in hypotheticals about African Americans in NASCAR but quite another with Tim Brown starring NASCAR in the face asking to be let in. Tim Brown Racing has all the accouterments of a first class racing business. Good looking business plan, strategic plan to get there, outstanding financials to make their case, operations center in Dallas, Texas. All they are missing is what dozens upon dozens of other NASCAR groups have overflowing. Investors and sponsors.